Updated May 3, 2022
In October, OU Health issued a notice terminating our current contract unless we agree to substantial price hikes that would increase Oklahomans’ health care costs
Although OU Health is already the most expensive provider in Oklahoma, it initially demanded an egregious 40% rate increase over three years, which would have raised health care costs for Oklahomans by $49 million. OU Health has since insisted on a one-year deal that would make the system 34% more expensive than other Oklahoma City hospitals.
Throughout the negotiation, OU Health’s demands would have increased premiums and out-of-pocket costs for our members as well as the cost of doing business for companies that simply want to offer affordable health care coverage for their employees. OU Health’s current proposal would directly drive up health care costs for our self-insured customers, given that these employers pay the cost of their employees’ medical bills themselves rather than relying on UnitedHealthcare to pay those claims. In Oklahoma, 71% of our members are enrolled in self-insured plans.
We recognize hospitals and doctors throughout the country – including OU Health – have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, UnitedHealth Group has served and supported our provider partners as well as our members, employees and communities. We accelerated nearly $2 billion of payments to care providers to provide needed liquidity for the health system; provided $2 billion in direct customer and consumer support through premium credits, cost-sharing waivers and other efforts; and waived COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment costs for members.
We hope OU Health, which received more than $74 million in CARES Act relief, will work with us to help make health care more affordable for Oklahomans who have been hit hard financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.