St. Luke's, Humana part ways on Medicare Advantage coverage

St. Luke's, Humana part ways on Medicare Advantage coverage »Play Video
BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- St. Luke's Hospital spokesman Ken Dey estimates the split with Humana Insurance over Medicare Advantage coverage probably affects about 2,000 people.

"For folks who have the Humana Medicare Advantage plan and want to keep a St. Luke's doctor, it is an inconvenience," Dey told KBOI News, "because they'll have to switch to a different plan so they can continue to see their St. Luke's doctor or take another doctor outside of St. Luke's within the Humana network."

Medicare Advantage plans, sometimes called "Part C" or "MA plans" are offered by private companies approved by medicare and can provide better access to more doctors.

And St. Luke's says its disagreement with the Kentucky-based insurer came down to money.

Negotiations between St. Luke's and Humana fell apart last summer when St. Luke's says Humana proposed paying less for its Medicare Advantage contract.

"And they did not want to negotiate," said Dey. "They had lower terms that we quite frankly couldn't accept financially."

A spokesman for Humana could not be reached for comment.

There are Humana insurance plans the hospital still accepts -- but not Medicare Advantage.

And St. Luke's providers continue to accept the following Medicare Advantage plans:

-AARP Medicare Complete Choice (United Health Care)

-Blue Cross True Blue/Secure Blue

-PacificSource Medicare Essentials/Medicare Explorer

-Regence e MedAdvantage

-SelectHealth Advantage