Business , Central New York , Consumer , Health

Change in SU Health Care Insurance Causes Controversy

By Kayla Spector SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — There have been issues in the past with United Healthcare, with different lawsuits filed against them, including fraud, discrimination, and underpayment for out-of-network insurance reimbursements. Now these issues could be brought to Syracuse University, as United Healthcare is the new primary insurance for employees.

All of these previous problems with United Healthcare are causing concern for some in the Syracuse University community. Now that SU is changing from Pomco to United Healthcare Insurance, a lot of the faculty may be worried. But their main concern is that the university didn’t notify anyone of this change.

“That is the biggest concern,” said Tula Goenka, a professor at SU. “So I have friends on Facebook who are on United Healthcare and they said it’s really good, but we don’t know, we don’t know if our premiums are going to go up, if our coverage is going to be different, ya know, our co-pays are gonna be different, we don’t know anything.”

Faculty and staff at the university discovered the change in an article on Syracuse.com. A lack of notification from the university made Goenka skeptical, while also trying to be positive. She said maybe the administration and HR didn’t know about it, although the whole situation is still hard to comprehend.

“Faculty members have to spend more time doing all this extra work which could have been actually reduced if they had better communications and better public relations,” said Goenka. “Why didn’t they talk to Newhouse, ya know, we have one o the best PR departments in the country, I don’t understand.

United Healthcare Group is acquiring Pomco, the insurance company located in Syracuse’s Eastwood region and now formerly used as the insurance for SU faculty and staff. United Healthcare issued a statement on Monday.

“United Healthcare and Pomco have entered into an agreement to integrate their third-party administration businesses. In addition to further expanding access to health benefits in Central and Upstate New York, businesses and consumers will have greater access to programs and services that can improve the health and well-being of individuals.”

“I’ve found out that United Healthcare is really good and they have good coverage, but I wish that the university was more proactive about sharing information with faculty and staff, we’re their employees and health insurance is a big benefit that we get from the university,” said Goenka.