ST. PETERSBURG, Fla . - About 100,000 Universal Health Care Inc. members are hanging in the balance after the company was ordered into receivership following financial problems.
The state has taken over the St. Petersburg-based HMO, which will be liquidated on April 1, and 800 employees have been let go. Their official last day was supposed to be Friday, but they were asked to leave by the FBI Thursday morning. ( http://wfts.tv/11Rx3pD ) /( http://wfts.tv/ZzDwFy )
But 60,000 Medicaid members and 40,000 Medicare members of UHC Inc., in addition to Universal Health Care Insurance Company's 37,500 Medicare policyholders, will be impacted for some time to come.
This can be an uncertain time for members and policy holders, but they can rest assured that members will continue to have access to care with proper coverage through CMS or ACA, according to the Department of Financial Services.
Patients will typically be able to continue seeing the same doctors and health care professionals up to six months after the date of insolvency began, which in this case is March 21.
Receiverships usually includes a provision requiring contracted providers to remain accessible for that time and maintain scheduled appointments for members.
During the insolvency, covered claims will continue to be covered by the Department of Financial Services.
While these general protections are put in place, the Florida Health Maintenance Organization Consumer Assistance Plan advises members involved with an insolvent health care company to seek out a new policy from an alternate company.
Consumers with questions about coverage issues during the rehabilitation should contact the Universal companies' consumer assistance representatives at 1 (866) 690-4842.
Those who have Medicare policies with either of the Universal companies should contact the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) .
Medicaid members of the Universal HMO from Broward, Baker, Clay, Duval and Nassau Counties should contact the Agency for Healthcare Administration at 1-866-467-4970.
Medicaid recipients in all other counties should call 1 (888) 367-6554.
Additionally, over the next week, Medicare and Medicaid members who were enrolled in the two Universal companies will be sent letters by either CMS or AHCA that explain their options for continued health care coverage after April 1, 2013, the date the company will be liquidated.
For non-claims related questions about the receivership, contact the receiver by using the "Contact Us" form at their website, www.myfloridacfo.com/Receiver .
You can also call the Florida Department of Financial Services, as receiver, at 1-800-882-3054 (in Florida only) or (850) 413-3081.