It has been 4 years and the process is finally taking place with the rebranding after the purchase of PacifiCare by United. As this article reads it appears that patients need to re-apply to select a plan from United HealthCare they feel would best suit their needs. No word on whether or not the costs remain the same, but with the recent health insurance increases, that alone may indicate higher premiums could be on the way. BD
Four years after its acquisition of PacifiCare, United HealthCare is taking big steps this fall to phase out the smaller company and transfer customers to United plans.
Coloradans with two types of PacifiCare plans — health savings accounts and preferred-provider organizations — were notified recently that those plans no longer exist and they can switch to United HealthCare plans with similar coverage and premium costs.
Company officials said the move is part of a long-term plan to end PacifiCare in Colorado. The two companies merged in 2005, an $8.2 billion deal that was the largest health-insurance merger ever in Colorado.
PacifiCare's health-maintenance-organization plan remains intact for this year, said Will Shanley, spokesman for United HealthCare.
Wayne Kelley, a 62-year-old Denver resident, said he was jolted by a letter two weeks ago that began, "This is to inform you that you need to choose a new health plan for 2010."
United officials said that in most cases, they were able to provide comparable or improved United plans for the same price.
The company refused to say how many of its 700,000 customers have PacifiCare, citing competitive reasons.