UnitedHealthcare Compass Network is Lousy.

The UnitedHealthcare Compass network is lousy in Tucson, AZ but this is not a big news story.  The big story in the news this week is that UnitedHealthcare is dropping out of the under-65 health insurance market in many states. I figure they will drop Arizona in 2017.

In 2016, United priced their plans so they ended up as the lowest-cost plans in Tucson.  Of course,  lots of people picked the UnitedHealthcare Compass plans for their low premiums.

I had a client who wanted a United plan because they are such a big company and have big employer plans with big networks.  However, United’s individual health insurance plans are nothing like their employer plans or their Medicare plans.  I found out the hard way that the UnitedHealthcare Compass  network is lousy in Arizona.

My client, who wanted the United name on her insurance card, emailed me to complain that she had called all the urologists in their network and could not find one who was taking the plan or taking female patients.

It turns out that The UnitedHealthcare Compass network is lousy in Tucson.

I figured she had to be wrong, so I called all the urologists listed in the United Compass online directory. There were only five or six urologist listed, and most of them were not actually taking the plan –  although they are listed as being in the plan network.

I contacted United and got a “ho-hum” response about how providers can come and go as they please and how it is difficult to keep the network list up to date.

I contacted someone I know at CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) and was told that the Affordable Care Act does not require insurance companies to have good networks.  Really?

Today I got a call from my doctor’s office about the UnitedHealthcare Compass plan in Tucson.  They have been having a difficult time finding specialists for their patients who have the UnitedHealthcare Compass plan.  They know I am in the insurance business and wanted my opinion on the Compass plan.

I had to tell them I was not surprised by what they were finding out about the provider network.  I said the patient should call the number on the back of their UnitedHealthcare id card and tell the customer service rep to find them a specialist.  We’ll see how that goes.

In summary:  UnitedHealthcare should get out of the individual health insurance market if they are offering plans with lousy networks.  People (and the government) are paying money to UnitedHealthcare for insurance, only to find out it is no good when they need it.

Shame on UnitedHealthcare!

Here is an article in the New York Times about UnitedHealthcare dropping out of the individual market in many states:



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