The management of the National Health Insurance (NHI) today announced that it has signed a contract with a different company, UnitedHealthcare, to provide overseas healthcare access for residents.
NHI said the agreement is for six months in the first instance, and it is likely to be extended due to the ‘tremendous’ savings being realized, and the “positive results” seen so far.
The agreement with UnitedHealthcare was signed in March after the NHI’s previous contract with another company known as JIPA ended in January.
The Florida-based JIPA Network and the NHI had been involved in a major dispute; this after JIPA accused the NHI of breaching their 2015 contract. But the management of the NHI has denied that claim.
The NHI, in a media release this afternoon (June 21), stated that the new agreement with UnitedHealthcare creates access to healthcare providers throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world.
UnitedHealthcare is an operating division of the UnitedHealth Group.
According to the NHI, the United States network of UnitedHealthcare includes 595,000 physicians and other health care professionals, as well as 80,000 dentists and 4,965 hospitals.
Deputy Director of the Social Security Board who has responsibility for NHI, Roy Barry, noted that the NHI has a responsibility to create access to healthcare for all of its registrants.
“In the event where we need to send a patient overseas, we must have a network coordinated by a third party administrator, and that is the reason for partnering with UnitedHealthcare.”
“We are pleased with our partnership with UnitedHealth thus far, and have seen benefits for customers in both lower costs and added convenience,” added Barry.
In the meantime, Barry elaborated on the cost savings that he said are being realized through the new partnership: “So far, the cost savings have been tremendous. We have seen as high as an 80 percent cost saving, which proves excellent for not only NHI, but also the patient.”
“The copay for the patient is much less than if they had accessed care outside of the territory without NHI,” Barry further said.