Important Information
About Our Contract With Highmark

Important Information
About Our Contract
With Highmark

Western New Yorkers deserve health plans that treat them and their providers fairly by maintaining your in-network access to preferred providers, covering the care you receive and paying healthcare providers sustainable rates.

For the coming 2023 plan year, Highmark increased individual premiums by 12.8% and 10.7% for most small group plans (employers with up to 100 workers), yet they are unwilling to negotiate fair rates with Catholic Health for the services we provide their members. As a result, they are willing to let your in-network access to Catholic Health and our ability to provide the best care to our communities hang in the balance. They are effectively charging you more, and willing to offer you a smaller network in return.

We are working hard to come to a deal with Highmark that will protect your in-network access to the doctors and facilities you trust, and that will ensure sustainable healthcare in our region for years to come.

If Highmark is unwilling to reach a mutually beneficial agreement, we will be forced out of Highmark’s provider network on January 1, 2023.

What Does This Mean For You?

It is important to know that for right now, nothing changes. You can and should continue to see Catholic Health providers, and our more than 900 affiliated provider partners, in the same way you do today. However, if we do not reach an agreement with Highmark before the end of the year, your access to Catholic Health will be impacted.

Take Action Now:

Call Highmark

Call the number on the back of your health insurance card or 1-800-544-2583 and let them know how important it is for you to have access to the providers you want, when you want it. Tell them to work this out with Catholic Health and prevent potential network disruption with your 2023 plan.

Share Your Concerns

Contact the New York Department of Financial Services, which oversees insurance companies operating in New York, if you have any issues with Highmark’s actions by filing a complaint at https://www.dfs.ny.gov/complaint.

Consider Your Options

As you’re making decisions about your health plan options for 2023, ask your trusted advisor, broker, or HR benefits manager about health plan options that protect your in-network access to the high-quality care provide at Catholic Health facilities, and by our more than 900 affiliated provider partners. We are currently participating with many other major insurance plans in New York.

Take Action Now:

Call Highmark

Call the number on the back of your health insurance card or 1-800-544-2583 and let them know how important it is for you to have access to the providers you want, when you want it. Tell them to work this out with Catholic Health and prevent potential network disruption with your 2023 plan.

Share Your Concerns

Contact the New York Department of Financial Services, which oversees insurance companies operating in New York, if you have any issues with Highmark’s actions by filing a complaint at https://www.dfs.ny.gov/complaint.

Consider Your Options

As you’re making decisions about your health plan options for 2023, ask your trusted advisor, broker, or HR benefits manager about health plan options that protect your in-network access to the high-quality care provide at Catholic Health facilities, and by our more than 900 affiliated provider partners. We are currently participating with many other major insurance plans in New York.

Here are the Facts:

  • We cannot sustain high-quality care and access for our patients while consistently being paid less than adequate rates by Highmark.
  • Despite charging their members 10-12% more for their monthly premium, Highmark remains unwilling to pay providers a commensurate increase.
  • Like many other health systems nationwide, Catholic Health has felt the impact of inflation across supplies and labor. Unlike other businesses that pass increased costs to consumers, we are working diligently to maintain affordable access to healthcare. But we need insurance companies like Highmark to do their fair share, including paying fairly for the care their members receive.
  • Catholic Health has a 165-year legacy of caring for Buffalo and is working hard to ensure our future for years to come. Ensuring the stability and sustainability of healthcare in our region requires rates from payors that cover the cost of care. Without it, access to healthcare in our community is at risk.
  • If a new contract is not reached by midnight on December 31, 2022, Catholic Health hospitals will be considered out-of-network for all commercial, Essential and Medicare Highmark health plan members.
  • If we become an out-of-network provider, thousands of patients could be forced to pay higher out-of-pocket costs to continue receiving the care Highmark promised would be in-network when you chose your plan.
  • In these final weeks of our existing contract, Catholic Health has provided several proposals to Highmark for consideration that worked to meet the needs of both organizations and were consistent with reimbursement our hospitals receive from other insurance companies. We are working diligently toward a new contract, and we are urging Highmark to negotiate in good faith toward a fair and sustainable agreement.