Sunday, January 1, 2012
Student Insurance and the Impact of the Highmark/UPMC Negotiations
November 21, 2011
As you are probably aware, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and UPMC have failed to reach an agreement regarding Highmark subscribers’ access to UPMC facilities past the end of June 2012. We want to assure you that students who have purchased the student insurance plan for the current term, August 1, 2011 through July 31, 2012, are not affected by this situation. UPMC hospitals will remain in our student insurance network and formerly negotiated rates of service will remain in effect through the close of this insurance year.
However, if Highmark and UPMC fail to negotiate a new contract, Highmark subscribers will have to pay higher out-of-network costs to access UPMC facilities after the current agreement expires. Because students use UPMC facilities and doctors, the impact of remaining with Highmark in the absence of an agreement will mean higher costs for care for students enrolled in the student insurance plan.
We are closely monitoring the situation and considering options to keep student costs for insurance and healthcare as low as possible while preserving access to UPMC facilities and providers. In the absence of an agreement between Highmark and UPMC, it is likely that we will go out to bid in January which could result in the selection of a carrier other than Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield for the 2012-2013 enrollment year. As is our practice, students will participate in review of the proposals and the selection of the carrier.
We will keep you informed of this situation as it evolves. We are confident that we will be able to secure a carrier that will maintain our outstanding level of benefits for a reasonable cost.
University Health Services