I recently received a letter from Magee-Womens Hospital. After reading it, I was both angered and insulted. My health insurance coverage is through Highmark. Magee is asking me for a donation to show my gratitude and support for my recent experience at this UPMC hospital, but this will probably be the last time that I will be able to be treated there!
The current situation between UPMC and Highmark is a relationship that is going to negatively affect the entire population in the Pittsburgh region. It will impact employment, but, more important, it will impact the health care services that are being provided to the people. Everyone has been reading the newspaper articles and watching the television commercials and hoping an agreement will be reached that will allow them to choose the doctors and the facilities of their choice for their health care services. Isn’t that why we live in America, so that we can have freedom of choice?
It is ludicrous not to allow the people in the Pittsburgh region to keep the relationships they have established with their doctors and facilities that have served them well over the years. It is through our donations and the use of UPMC services, which have been paid through our Highmark insurance, that have allowed UPMC to grow and become the renowned health care system it currently is.
The new agreement between UPMC and Highmark is nothing more than an empty promise. It will allow the people insured with Highmark who have a PPO plan to keep their established relationships with UPMC for out-of-network rates! How can anyone afford out-of-network rates with the already high costs of health insurance deductibles, out-of-pocket expenses and premiums?
In my eyes, UPMC is a bully, and its plan is to spread like a disease to create a monopoly that will put all of the other health care providers out of business. UPMC could care less for the people in the Pittsburgh region. We need a higher authority to mediate this battle between UPMC and Highmark so the current situation will benefit and meet the needs of the people!