United Health Care plan drops Moffitt, other health centers - FOX 13 News

United Health Care plan drops Moffitt, other health centers

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Here we go again. You might need to start the search for a new doctor because of changes with insurance that could affect thousands of patients here in the Tampa Bay area.

We're following two big shifts in coverage.

United Health Care's Medicare Advantage plan is dropping some big name providers here in the Tampa Bay area, which could affect 50,000 patients.

Some of the providers include Florida Orthopedic Institute, Tampa Eye Clinic, and Saint Luke's eye care.

Moffitt Cancer Center is also on the list.

Moffitt says 2,500 patients used UHC Medicare Advantage plans this past year.

The plans were sold under the names "Secure Horizons," "Evercare," and "AARP Medicare Complete."

UHC is telling patients they should transition to one of the other 20 local hospitals covered under their plan.

Changes takes effect January 1.

Moffitt says it all happened very quickly, and was not open to negotiation.

"Patients are smart. They do the internet research. They're still going to want to come to Moffitt. Referring physicians are going to want to go to refer to Moffitt. This is going to create a new barrier and challenge for that patient," said Moffitt CFO Janene Culumber.

Culumber says patients who are in the middle of treatment can apply for a letter of care.

That could result in a 90-day extension of coverage.

Florida Blue will drop 300,000 policies here in state. The company says they're in the process of notifying affected customers.

They say they're cutting plans that don't offer preventative, wellness and rehabilitation benefits required under Obamacare.

The company expects members will choose another plan offered by the company, but local experts say this is a strategic announcement that has a big impact on business.

"The recent announcement by Florida Blue is less of a cherry picking of patients, and more of a decision that they are going to be in the business of individual policies," says Jay Wolfson with USF Health. "Everything is going to be community rated in the exchanges, and there is no need for Blue, or United to sell you an individual policy. That need is gone," Wolfson said.

Florida Blue says they expect to grow business.

The important thing is that if you receive one of these letters, take action now -- do your homework to ensure you receive the coverage you want in the coming year.

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