According to cardiologist and senior advocate Dr. Steven Wolfson, UnitedHealthcare did not notify patients that they only had a short time to transfer to traditional Medicare if they wanted to continue to be covered when using Yale-New Haven Hospital. Dr. Wolfson also added that patients told him that the agents they contacted at Yale-New Haven Hospital said the issue was being resolved or that they were unaware of the cancellation of coverage under AARP Medicare Advantage insurance plans. The deadline for enrollment decisions was December 7, 2013, but the breakdown in negotiations between the Yale New Haven System and UnitedHealthcare over the Medicare Advantage plans happened in February, after they had already enrolled.
In early February, UnitedHealthcare told Medicare Advantage patients that they would no longer be in their network as of April 1, 2014. Dr. Wolfson believes that UnitedHealthcare is looking to tailor its demographics by eliminating physicians from their network who serve the most expensive patients. UnitedHealthcare, however, says that its patients will continue to have broad access to hospitals and physicians across the state. Lawmakers in Connecticut are asking CMS to approve retroactive disenrollment for seniors who were not given clear information on when they had to switch plans.
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