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Fury over University Hospital insurance change: ‘It was bordering on unethical’

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 6:48 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2021 at 7:47 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - People with United Healthcare were sent a notification last week saying effective July 1, University Hospital doctors would be out of network. University Hospital sent out a letter Monday morning saying they are rolling back that decision. Coverage will be extended through Nov. 30 now.

Still, many people reached out and said they were frustrated and concerned this was happening. United Healthcare is a major insurance company in our area. The change would have left many people in a tough financial situation.

Many of you may have seen this letter telling patients who are covered under United Healthcare that doctors at University Hospital would no longer be in-network with United Healthcare starting July 1, which is only one week’s notice.

(WRDW)

“It was very unprofessional,” said William Robson. “It was bordering on unethical.”

William Robson uses United Healthcare through his work and says medical bills could’ve skyrocketed because of this.

“This is how regular people that work hard, are responsible people and all of the sudden find themselves being treated by a doctor out of network find themselves financially devastated,” said Robson.

On Monday, University said it would extend services through Nov. 30, saying in a statement that they apologize for any confusion or stress this created. It could’ve left University’s patients in a tough situation trying to get affordable health care. But there could be a big decision again in the fall when the deadline is up.

“I think in the case of United Healthcare, it’s such a predominant provider of insurance services within the CSRA. Many major employers use United Healthcare,” said Robson.

Which leaves many hoping University sticks with United Healthcare.

“They need to work together. They need to find a way,” he said.

University says this was a decision between the two parties to extend the agreement. They also say these contracts are with University and are not related to their potential partnership with Piedmont Healthcare.

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