UnitedHealthcare launches health plans prompting Laborcare Network changes beginning Sept. 1

UnitedHealthcare is launching health plans in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Western Wisconsin beginning Jan. 1, 2019. Currently, UnitedHealthcare serves members in these areas through Medica’s leased network, Laborcare. However, starting Sept. 1, 2018, in preparation for the launch of UnitedHealthcare health plans, the company will discontinue the use of Laborcare network and open access to the UnitedHealthcare network of care.

Customers with members that reside in these states will begin accessing the UnitedHealthcare network for care on Sept. 1, regardless of the customer’s renewal date. This includes Small Business, Key Accounts, Public Sector, UMR (fully insured and ASO) customers.

A majority of clients and members will see reduced total cost of care depending on individual provider utilization mix and member benefit plan structure. However, it is possible that a few providers in the leased network will not be included in this network. UnitedHealthcare will communicate with all affected members about the network change.

Communication timeline

  • Customer communication regarding the network change was mailed 2 months in advance of the Sept. 1 effective date.

    • Member disruption letters will be mailed Aug. 1 to members who meet one of the following criteria: Used a routine provider in the past 12 months that will not be in the UnitedHealth Networks network, or has selected a provider who will not be in network as a primary care provider (PCP) (Gated plans only) and must select a new PCP.
    • Further outreach will be made on Sept. 1 to members who are on gated plans and need to pick a new PCP.
  • Member ID cards:

    • ID cards will not be reissued before with the network transition date of Sept. 1, but instead at the policy renewal date.
    • In some instances, but not all, a “Laborcare” logo is printed on the back of member ID cards. All platforms will discontinue printing Laborcare on member ID cards prior to Sept. 1.

Please use the FAQ to assist customers and employees with this network change. If you have questions or concerns, please contact your UnitedHealthcare representative.