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Update on MultiCare Health System Negotiations

May 16, 2024

Our negotiations with MultiCare continue, and we’re pushing to reach agreement before the contract end date of May 31, 2024. We share your concerns about the impact losing this system would have on Premera members. MultiCare’s most recent communication is designed to ramp up member anxiety more than reach a new contract agreement.

Let’s share the facts: 

  • MultiCare issued a “negotiation by termination” notice to Premera Blue Cross in late December. It’s a now common tactic that puts members in the middle of a process that doesn’t need to be public.
  • MultiCare has said that Premera’s annual contract reimbursement increases are stagnant. In the last four years they received increases for hospital and professional services of 6-15% annually, which they acknowledge. To put that in perspective, if they were charging $100 for a simple office visit in 2020 that same office visit now would be $142.
  • By comparison, the Consumer Price Index in Seattle/Tacoma rose 5.4% over the same period.
  • For the next two years, they are demanding increases even larger.
  • Premera pays MultiCare market rates. In a recent letter to our producer community, MultiCare shared a chart purporting to show that Premera pays less than other competitors. The chart only shows inpatient care, when outpatient care is 70% of their hospital volume, and shows a very different picture. Premera’s rates are on par or higher than many of other insurers in the market.

We continue to focus on our customers during these negotiations and serve as an advocate as we partner on practical solutions to keep healthcare affordable and accessible.

You can stay connected through our Healthsource blog on our negotiations. We’ll keep you posted as we continue our conversations with MultiCare.