RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — After months of negotiation, WakeMed is no longer part of the UnitedHealthcare in-network care, affecting thousands of patients.

WakeMed said it has been working with UnitedHealthcare for nearly one year to reach a new contract agreement with the insurance company.

As of June 1, WakeMed is no longer considered part of the UnitedHealthcare network.

“I have personally witnessed terribly sick patients being denied insurance coverage by UnitedHealthcare while already receiving care in our Intensive Care Units,” said Dr. Seth Brody, executive vice president and chief physician executive at WakeMed.

WakeMed said it will continue negotiation efforts with UnitedHealthcare.

Also Wednesday, UnitedHealthcare said WakeMed “declined our offer to extend our current agreement, and never countered the multiple rate proposals we’ve provided since December.”

One UnitedHealthcare member named Kelly spoke with CBS 17 on what it would mean to have to pay for care without in-network coverage.

“I can’t afford to pay for it out of pocket. It means I will not go to the doctor. I am on permanent disability, and that does not give you a lot each month. So if I have to come up with the money to pay for it…there isn’t any to squeeze out,” she said.

WakeMed Primary Care Physicians remain in-network for clinic visits.

UnitedHealthcare said its Veteran Affairs Community Care Network will remain in network with WakeMed.

WakeMed has created several ways for patients to reach out for help:

  • Visit: www.wakemed.org/unitedhealthcare for up-to-date information on our work with UnitedHealthcare, and a list of all insurance plans accepted by WakeMed. UnitedHealthcare plans that provide out-of-network benefits are included.
  • Email: info@wakemed.org or
  • Call: 919-350-7808, option 9 to receive an estimate of the cost of ongoing care.

All patients may still seek treatment at any of WakeMed’s seven emergency departments. For more information on locations, click here.