UPMC-Highmark Agreement Expiring Has Many Confused With Medicare Open Enrollment

Monday is the first day of 2019 Open Enrollment for Medicare

Melinda Roeder
October 15, 2018 - 12:31 pm

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PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Monday is the first day of Open Enrollment for Medicare and insurance experts say seniors in the Pittsburgh area seem to have a lot of questions about their options. 

Many patients are concerned about the recent announcement that agreements between UPMC and Highmark Health will expire in July, 2019.

Bill McKendree, coordinator for Allegheny County APPRISE, says his office is getting twice as many phone calls as usual this week, mostly from patients who are confused and have some anxiety over the selection process. 

“We anticipate we’re going to be exceeding 100 plus calls a day, every day, until we get deep into the enrollment period,” predicts McKendree.

Many callers want to know if they can keep their doctors from one network, but still visit hospitals affiliated with a different network. He says third-party insurance providers might be their best option and some seniors should consider “Medigap” plans.

“There are other companies that provide insurance that will straddle both the Allegheny Health network and the UPMC network and will straddle it for the entire upcoming year,” says McKendree.

Seniors will have until December 7 to select their Medicare plan.

Phone: 412-661-1438

Email: APPRISE@fswp.org

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