After concerns raised by the AHA and other health groups, UnitedHealthcare today delayed plans to deny coverage for emergency department claims the insurer deems non-emergent. The policy was to take effect July 1.

“Based on feedback from our provider partners and discussions with medical societies, we have decided to delay the implementation of our emergency department policy until at least the end of the national public health emergency period,” the insurer said on Twitter.

In a letter Tuesday to UnitedHealthcare, AHA urged the insurer to reverse the policy immediately.

“Today’s announcement from UnitedHealthcare to delay its new policy on emergency coverage offers a temporary reprieve for patients, and we urge its full and permanent reversal,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “If enacted, this policy would have a chilling effect on patients seeking emergency services, with potentially dire consequences for their health. It is also part of an unfortunate pattern of commercial health insurers denying care for needed services. Patients should have the confidence to seek the emergency care they need without worrying about coverage being denied. There is no justification for these restrictions now or after the public health emergency.”

 

Related News Articles

Headline
The Senate this weekend is expected to take up the Inflation Reduction Act (H.R. 5376), the latest version of the Build Back Better Act, a roughly $700 billion…
Headline
A trial in a federal lawsuit  to stop UnitedHealth Group from acquiring Change Healthcare kicked off today in the U.S. District Court for the District of…
Perspective
Delaying and denying authorizations for medically necessary care. Forcing patients to try potentially ineffective treatments through step therapy, or “fail…
Headline
The share of uninsured Americans fell 1.5 percentage point to 8% between first-quarter 2021 and first-quarter 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and…
News
Today AHA released a report showing that commercial insurance costs are increasing at an unsustainable rate while many plan policies create dangerous delays in…
Headline
Surging costs for labor, drugs, supplies and equipment, along with rising inflation, pose an immediate threat to hospitals’ ability to deliver care, AHA…