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Johns Hopkins Medicine Warns Consumers and Small Businesses about Certain Unitedhealthcare Products on the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange - 11/13/2014
Johns Hopkins Medicine Warns Consumers and Small Businesses about Certain Unitedhealthcare Products on the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange
Release Date: November 13, 2014
A few days before open enrollment begins on the Maryland Health Connection website, one of the state’s premiere health care providers, Johns Hopkins Medicine, is voicing concern that its providers will not be available to individuals who select certain UnitedHealthcare products offered on the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange and other state exchanges.
UnitedHealthcare has notified Johns Hopkins that it is excluding Johns Hopkins physicians and hospitals — including The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Howard County General Hospital and Suburban Hospital — from participating in certain UnitedHealthcare products. It has also told Johns Hopkins that it does not intend to market these new products as “narrow networks” or otherwise make clear that they potentially exclude key provider groups.
“We believe patients have the right to make informed decisions regarding their health care,” says Patricia M.C. Brown, senior vice president of managed care and population health for Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Unless this limitation is clearly communicated, consumers who consider plans based on price alone may not realize they are restricting their access to the quality care and expertise that Johns Hopkins provides.”
The UnitedHealthcare products that exclude Johns Hopkins are all health benefit plans marketed under the United Compass, Navigate and Core brand names.
Johns Hopkins urges consumers to research providers and hospitals offered before committing to a plan. Understanding which providers may or may not be available is critical when selecting a health plan and enables patients to get the care they need from the providers and hospitals they prefer.
The Maryland Health Connection website opened for browsing earlier this week. Open enrollment via the Maryland website begins on Wednesday, Nov. 19.