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UPMC, Highmark breakup making it hard to do enrollment for seniors

December 05, 2018 / Tina Reed

This week marks the end of the enrollment period for Medicare recipients in Pennsylvania. But this sign-up season has been a bit of a trick for seniors in the western part of the state stuck in the middle of the breakup between two of the region's largest health providers. A state-brokered agreement between the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Highmark Health—both of which serve as providers and insurers—ends June 30. That means starting in July, seniors who have selected Highmark Medicare Advantage plans will no longer have in-network access to UPMC hospitals and most UPMC doctors. (Highmark has said it will cover extra out-of-network costs for the second half of the year so patients won't have to pay more to see UPMC providers in 2019.)