Jilted claimants medical costs will be covered

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By Roger Snodgrass

The Los Alamos National Laboratory employees who found themselves liable for medical services that they thought were covered under the laboratory health plan learned Thursday that their costs would be covered by the plan after all.Some 35 of the claimants attended a meeting with officials of the lab’s Human Resources Division Thursday where they learned an agreement between LANL and United Health Care (UHC), the administrator of its medical plan, was “99.9 percent” done, said Rob Vitek, a spokesperson for the group.The laboratory has acknowledged that “more than 60 employees” were facing unexpected medical bills related to problems with Physicians Medical Center of Santa Fe (PMC), which was for a period of time “out of network” for the UHC plan. The laboratory issued a statement announcing that UHC had agreed to “retroactively treat PMC as an in-network facility.”“This move allows all claims for services done at PMC from April 25, 2007, forward to be covered as in-network claims, paid at in-network rates with the usual deductibles and co-pays,” the laboratory said.Claims for services provided by PMC had been rejected by UHC under terms of the  medical plan.

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