UNC Health and UnitedHealthcare agreement came down to the wire

HEALTH; COMMUNITY NEWS

by Michelle Cassell
Managing Editor 

March 28, 2024 UPDATE:
Alan M. Wolf Director, News and Media Relations for UNC Health notified TLR this afternoon that “UNC Health has reached a new, long-term agreement with UnitedHealthcare. The deal prevents an “out of network” situation for thousands of patients across North Carolina.”  TLR will be providing details of the agreement in a subsequent article.

According to their website, UnitedHealthcare continues to negotiate with UNC Health to renew their relationship, which is due to expire on April 1.  “We remain engaged in active discussions with UNC Health. Our organizations have met frequently in-person and virtually over the past two months and are actively exchanging proposals. We are in the process of delivering our sixth proposal to UNC Health, which includes additional compromises and meaningful rate increases that ensure the health system continues to be reimbursed at market-competitive rates.”

Alan M. Wolf, Director of News and Media Relations for UNC Health responded to an inquiry from TLR confirming that negotiations were continuing. “UNC Health continues to meet with United for ongoing discussions. We are working urgently to negotiate a new and fair agreement before the April 1 deadline (when our current contract with United expires). We hope to avoid an ‘out-of-network’ situation for United patients.

We are also working closely with our patients to minimize any disruptions for them.

We continue to post the latest information (including FAQs, information on how to apply for Continuity of Care waivers, etc.) at https://www.unchealthfornc.com.

According to the UnitedHealthcare website, if they are unable to reach an agreement, people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare employer-sponsored and individual plans, including UMR, as well as their Medicare Advantage plans, including the Dual Special Needs Plan, will no longer have network access to the health system, effective April 1, 2024.

UnitedHealthcare has a separate contract with UNC Health for Medicaid, which is not impacted by this negotiation. People enrolled in a UnitedHealthcare Medicaid plan continue to have access to UNC Health’s facilities and physicians with no change, regardless of the outcome of this negotiation.

TLR will continue to update the status of the continuing negotiations.


Michelle Cassell is a seasoned reporter who has covered everything from crime to hurricanes and local politics to human interest over the course of 35 years. As managing editor, she hopes to encourage writers of a wide range of backgrounds and interests in TLR’s coverage of Southern Orange County news. 

This reporter can be reached at Info@TheLocal Reporter.press

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