CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Negotiations between Charleston Area Medical Center and Humana fell through on Tuesday, a hospital spokesman said.
The hospital's contract with the insurance provider will end Dec. 31, meaning senior citizens with a Humana Medicare Advantage plan will not be able to receive services at Charleston Area Medical Center facilities at "in-network" rates.
Patients would still be able to get services at CAMC once the contract ends but would have to pay more because the hospital system would not be a member of Humana's coverage network.
CAMC spokesman Dale Witte said the hospital system notified Humana in September it might terminate its contract. Witte did not know why but said the contract was set to expire this year.
Witte also was not sure how many patients would be affected.
"I don't think it's a large number," he said.
Humana is one of several insurance providers in the state offering Medicare Advantage plans, which seniors can purchase as an alternative to traditional Medicare.
The open enrollment period for Medicare Advantage plans opened last week and closes at midnight on Dec. 7. Once that deadline passes, patients are locked into their chosen Medicare Advantage plan until enrollment reopens next year.
Witte said CAMC began talks with Humana in September so patients would have time to switch Medicare plans if they wanted to.
Calls and messages left for Humana spokesman Jeff Blunt were not immediately returned Tuesday evening.