RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — After months of negotiations, pen has met paper as UnitedHealthcare and WakeMed locked into a 3-year contract, both parties confirmed to CBS 17.

The new deal, that went into effect on Nov. 15, “restores network access to WakeMed’s hospitals, employed physicians and specialists for people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare employer-sponsored and Medicare Advantage plans,” a Thursday statement from UnitedHealthCare said. Access is also included for those with UnitedHealthcare’s Dual Special Needs Plan.

“We know the past few months have been incredibly challenging for you – our valued patients,” WakeMed said in its announcement. “We are confident that the contract signed this week will protect the patient-provider relationship and allow us to continue fulfilling our mission of improving the health and well-being of all those we serve.”

The new contract, however, does not include “United’s Medicaid Managed Care plan (UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of NC), the Medicare Select plan (not currently available in our market), or UnitedHealthcare plans available on the health care marketplace/exchange (ACA plans),” WakeMed further said in its statement.

Garland Scott, the CEO of UnitedHealthcare North Carolina, also commented on the long-awaited agreement.

“We recognize the care WakeMed provides is important. We’re pleased to reach an agreement that provides the North Carolinians we serve greater access to quality, affordable health care,” Scott said.

UnitedHealthcare also pointed out in its statement that the 3-year agreement with WakeMed will also provide seniors another option in the Raleigh area as they choose which health plan best meets their health care needs during the current Medicare annual open enrollment period.