Guest Feature by Attorney General Josh Shapiro
On Monday, I stood with Governor Wolf in Pittsburgh to announce that my office brokered an historic 10-year deal with UPMC and Highmark. The deal ends their longstanding dispute and ensures Highmark patients can continue access to UPMC doctors and facilities. The timing of the contract ensures that patients should not experience any disruption in their care. This is a global agreement, meaning that all UPMC hospitals are now an option for Highmark’s insured patients. This is the longest deal that UPMC has ever made with any insurer.
I’m proud that we were able to restore fairness and access to affordable care for the people of Western Pennsylvania and reinject real choice into the healthcare marketplace. Without this agreement, millions of patients—including union members, seniors, cancer patients, and working mothers—would have had their health care abruptly upended. Thanks to the brave workers and patients who told their stories about what they stood to lose, your stories were heard by Highmark and UPMC. Western Pennsylvanians now have their access to a fair healthcare system secured for the next decade.
This agreement is particularly impactful for laborers. Many of you work jobs that are physically demanding and carry high risk of injury; I know that a threat to your healthcare is a threat to your livelihood.
However, this agreement does not grant access to UPMC facilities to those who did not have that access before this agreement. Over the next decade, it will be up to UPMC and Highmark to offer plans to their customers that include the health care options that they seek, and it will be up to consumers and employers to select the plans that best fit their health care needs. If you have questions about your specific plan, I strongly recommend contacting your union, your employer, or your insurance company.
I’m proud that this global agreement preserves these options, and brings stability and certainty to thousands upon thousands of laborers in Western Pennsylvania. These workers can continue to see their doctors, whom they have known for years and are comfortable with, without incurring exorbitant out-of-network costs.
As Attorney General, I swore an oath of office to protect the rights of all Pennsylvanians. That means putting people before powerful institutions, and holding powerful institutions accountable to the people they serve. I will continue working tirelessly on behalf of all the working women and men of Pennsylvanian.