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LVHN to Terminate Participation with Aetna Insurance in 2023 | WDIY Local News

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Lehigh Valley Health Network

Lehigh Valley Health Network is ending its relationship with a major health care insurance provider. WDIY’s Sarit Laschinsky has more.

The health network said it is dropping its participation with Aetna insurance.

According to LVHN’s website effective Mar. 13, 2023, patients currently covered by Aetna will no longer be able to get care “in-network” at LVHN.

In a video statement, Dr. Robert Murphy, LVHN’s Executive Vice President and Chief Physician Executive, said the network has been experiencing issues with Aetna for years.

“We have observed Aetna taking steps behind the scenes to delay or even deny coverage for the care you need,” Murphy said.

“The situation has gone on since 2017 and, as a result, LVHN informed Aetna we will terminate our agreements with them effective Mar. 13, 2023.”

Murphy also said the issues have not been restricted to just administrative delays, and have made it difficult for the network to continue working with the insurance provider.

“Aetna has continuously denied coverage for the services our doctors, nurses and caregivers provide for a significant amount of important patient care over the years,” he said.

After the termination, the health network said patients covered by Aetna will still have the option to continue care at LVHN on an out-of-network basis, or by paying out of pocket.

Aetna will also be obliged to cover emergency room visits to LVHN, even if the latter is no longer in-network.

Murphy said LVHN hopes to reach a “fair agreement” before the March deadline, and that patients will receive updates in the coming months.

He also said there will be no changes to patients’ coverage until Mar. 13, and that the network is committed to ensuring continuity of care for patients whose care cannot be interrupted.

A call center is available at 888-402-5846 to answer questions, and more information can be found online here.

(Original air-date: 11/10/22)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky is WDIY's Interim News and Public Affairs Director.
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