UnitedHealthcare and Tufts Health Freedom Plan

Frequently asked questions for brokers

Last updated June 21, 2021


Overview

When will Tufts Health Freedom Plan officially transition to UnitedHealthcare?

UnitedHealthcare acquired Tufts Health Freedom Plan, effective Jan. 1, 2021. Tufts Health Freedom Plan will provide administrative support to Tufts Health Freedom Plan customers, members, brokers and care providers through the transition period, which will take some time. New groups contracted between January 2021 and September 2021 will remain on Tufts Health Freedom Plan platforms. For Oct. 1, 2021 effective dates, new and renewing business will migrate over and be serviced by UnitedHealthcare on its platforms, with all remaining groups moving Dec. 31, 2021.

What will the name of the company be? Where is the office?

Staying true to the spirit of New Hampshire, UnitedHealthcare will keep “Freedom” in the name of the company: UnitedHealthcare Freedom Plans. The office will remain in Concord, N.H., through 2021, with an anticipated move to Hookset in 2022.


Members/Customers

When will employer groups be notified of this transition?

While groups have been informed of this acquisition, groups renewing between Oct. 1, 2021 and Jan. 1, 2022 will receive more detailed information in their renewal packages. In addition to acquisition-related information, customer will also receive information including:

  • Network overview with access area map, highlighting the local and national provider network
  • Employer Overview and Checklist, which details actions that need to be taken;
  • Uhceservices.com enrollment instructions and capabilities;
  • Available specialty benefits and plan discounts
How will members be communicated to about this transition?

Members were notified of the sale of Tufts Health Freedom Plan to UnitedHealthcare following the close of the transaction in early 2021. Members received new member ID cards with the UnitedHealthcare Choice Plus network logo for their out-of-area health care services (i.e., outside of the current service area). Upon renewal, members will receive information regarding their new plan and what to expect with UnitedHealthcare Freedom Plans.


Brokers/Benefits Administrators

When will you communicate the UnitedHealthcare acquisition to brokers’ clients? Clients’ employees?

Members were notified of the sale of Tufts Health Freedom Plan to UnitedHealthcare following the close of the transaction in early 2021. Members received new member ID cards with the UnitedHealthcare Choice Plus network logo for their out-of-area health care services (i.e., outside of the current service area).

Why should current Tufts Health Freedom Plan clients stay with Tufts Health Freedom Plan/UnitedHealthcare Freedom Plans?

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping millions of people live healthier lives and making the health system work better for everyone. We believe these commitments and UnitedHealthcare’s breadth of expertise, combined with the strength of Tufts Health Freedom Plan’s local team, will result in even better service to you, your clients, and their employees.

Through UnitedHealthcare, we are now able to provide members with access to a wide range of quality national providers to complement the strength of the Tufts Freedom Health Freedom plan local network. Our team is committed to making this transition as seamless as possible and minimizing any disruption to our customers a result of this announcement.

Who will be the sales and/or client services teams for brokers and customers?

The Tufts Health Freedom Plan team that you have been working with will continue to support you and your clients as employees of UnitedHealthcare.

How will brokers get quotes for their clients?

You will contact your sales executive and use Tufts Health Freedom Plan BrokerLink from Jan. 1, 2021 through Oct. 1, 2021 for new business and renewals. Beginning on August 1, new quotes and renewals will be available through UnitedHealthcare, who will provide further communication and details before the transition.

How do brokers and customers access health plan for changes to enrollment?

Until Sept. 30, 2021, you will continue to service your health plan through the Tufts Health Freedom Plan Employer portals. Members will also continue to use the Tufts Health Freedom Plan portal and mobile app.

As groups begin to renew on and after Oct. 1, 2021, you will access the UnitedHealthcare portals. You will be given more direction prior to then through communications from UnitedHealthcare.

How will renewals be handled?

There will be no change to how renewals are generated from Jan. 1, 2021 through Sept. 30, 2021. Beginning Oct. 1, 2021, renewals will be generated through the UnitedHealthcare platform. Our client services teams will be in contact with you to help with the transition.

Who will be handling member services, claims and premium billing?

Tufts Health Freedom Plan will be handling member servicing during the transition and will be there for our collective members until Dec. 31, 2021 when all groups will have been transitioned to UnitedHealthcare platforms.

Once transitioned to UnitedHealthcare, those individuals will have their programs and benefits through UnitedHealthcare.

When and how will brokers and customers be notified of change?

Both Tufts Health Freedom Plan and UnitedHealthcare will be providing ongoing communications to keep them abreast of future changes.

Who will be sending communications from about these changes?

You will be receiving communications that are branded Tufts Health Freedom Plan for a period of time. Your local UnitedHealthcare Sales Executives and Client Service representatives will be communicating with you, too. Future communications will come directly from UnitedHealthcare.


 

Network

With this acquisition, will there still be a full local provider network?

Tufts Health Freedom Plan network is not changing. Members have access to existing in-network hospitals and care providers in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, as well as other network providers in Maine and Vermont – the same network of hospitals and providers they access today.

All Tufts Health Freedom Plan members with out-of-network benefits (e.g. PPO) will now access the UnitedHealthcare Choice Plus network for out-of-area health care services (i.e., outside of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and bordering facilities in Maine and Vermont). This network of doctors and hospitals includes more than 1.1 million physicians and health care professionals and 6,000-plus hospitals across the nation.

Members can access the provider directory at www.thfp.com/find-a-doctor or through the Tufts Health Freedom Plan member portal and mobile app.

What about providers outside of the Tufts Health Freedom Plan network?

All Tufts Health Freedom Plan members with out-of-network benefits (e.g. PPO) will now access the UnitedHealthcare Choice Plus network for out-of-area health care services (i.e., outside of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and bordering facilities in Maine and Vermont). This network of doctors and hospitals includes more than 1.1 million physicians and health care professionals and 6,000-plus hospitals across the nation. All members will still have urgent and emergency care coverage at any location.

For Small Group PPO Members:
  • When out of area, the UnitedHealthcare Choice Plus national network will replace the CIGNA national network available at the authorized level of care for elective services. As always, urgent and emergency care is not subject to network requirements.
  • If your employees are enrolled in a plan that has provider tiers, UnitedHealthcare Choice Plus network providers will be Tier 2, just as CIGNA providers were in your current plan. Tiering for THFP providers will not change.

For Large Group PPO Members:
  • When out of area, the UnitedHealthcare Choice Plus national network will replace the PHCS network available to you. As always, urgent and emergency care is not subject to network requirements.
  • If your employees are enrolled in a plan that has provider tiers, UnitedHealthcare Choice Plus network providers will be Tier 2, just as PHCS providers were in your current plan. Tiering for Tufts Health Freedom Plan providers will not change.
When will there be access to UnitedHealthcare national network?

Members with PPO plans will have immediate access to the UnitedHealthcare Choice Plus network for out-of-area health care services.


Payments + Reimbursements

Where will invoices come from and payments be sent to? Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) payment changes?

For existing business, all billing will remain the same. UnitedHealthcare will provide information on changes to the EFT payment process and other billing changes.

Where should claims and reimbursement forms be sent to?

Tufts Health Freedom Plan will continue processing claims until groups transition to UnitedHealthcare. Groups will receive further information prior to the Oct. 1, 2021 migration.


Benefits

How does the UnitedHealthcare acquisition affect plans or benefits?
  • Network – To receive in-network care, members should continue to use the Tufts Health Freedom Plan network of providers. All Tufts Health Freedom Plan members with out-of-network benefits (e.g. PPO) will now access the UnitedHealthcare Choice Plus network for out-of-area health care services (i.e., outside of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and bordering facilities in Maine and Vermont).
  • Pharmacy Benefit – CVS Caremark will continue to be the Pharmacy Benefits Manager (PBM) for Tufts Health Freedom Plan members until they transition to the UnitedHealthcare platform, beginning Oct. 1, 2021. At that time, members will utilize UnitedHealthcare’s PBM – OptumRx.
  • Member Portal/Mobile App – Members will continue to use the Tufts Health Freedom Plan portal and mobile app until transitioning to UnitedHealthcare on or after Oct. 1, 2021. When you renew, a welcome packet from UnitedHealthcare will be sent to members providing them with UnitedHealthcare member portal and mobile app information.
  • Benefit designs – No other changes in plans and benefits will occur today.
  • Copays – All plan designs on current contracts will remain unchanged at this time.
  • Deductible – Amounts will remain unchanged until renewal. UnitedHealthcare will continue to offer a range of deductible plans to choose from.
Will members have access to “added value” features from UnitedHealthcare?

When Tufts Health Freedom Plan groups and members transition to UnitedHealthcare, they will have access to a full suite of member discounts for fitness, nutrition, healthy lifestyle management, financial wellness tools, and more. Information on these programs will be shared as part of welcome materials sent from UnitedHealthcare.

How does the UnitedHealthcare acquisition affect HSA/FSA vendors?

Employers will continue to work with their HSA/FSA vendors as they currently do. Your local sales and marketing team will update brokers and clients with new integration offerings and benefits around these products as UnitedHealthcare expands their portfolio.


Utilization Management (UM)

Will prior authorizations and referrals still be honored during transition? What happens if a member is in the middle of receiving services/in-patient stay and the plans switch?

Yes, through this transition, individuals who already received prior authorizations or referrals need not get new ones. They will need to get new prior authorizations and referrals when their new plans go into effect after Oct. 1, 2021 or after, as UnitedHealthcare conducts utilization review as part of its prior authorization/referral process.

If you are new or renew between Jan. 1. – Sept. 30, 2021, utilization management will be managed by Tufts Health Freedom Plan utilization management practices through Dec. 31, 2021.


Care Management/Wellness/Mental and Behavioral Health

How will clinical, behavioral health and wellness programs and services change?

Members will continue to have access to behavioral health services, care management, wellness program and member discounts under Tufts Health Freedom Plan until their renewals. As members are welcomed to UnitedHealthcare, they will receive a full suite of onboarding materials highlighting their new services and products now available to them as UnitedHealthcare members.