After nearly a year of their in-network access being limited, people with UnitedHealthcare insurance will soon be able to use Montefiore Health System again.

The health insurer and health network had been negotiating a new contract since its previous one expired at the end of 2020. Since then, that’s left UnitedHealthcare members without in-network access to Montefiore’s 10 hospitals and more than 200 outpatient facilities in Westchester, Rockland, Orange and Bronx counties.

That access will be restored on Dec. 1, though, thanks to a new multi-year agreement between the two sides.

The exterior of Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital, March 10, 2021.

“The long-term health of our patients has always been the central focus of our negotiations,” Colleen Blye, executive vice president and chief financial officer for Montefiore Health System, said in a statement Thursday. “Over the past 10 months, the support of our local employers, elected officials and communities has been overwhelming, and we are pleased that our patients once again have in-network access to their trusted Montefiore hospitals and providers.”

Health care: Patients squeezed out in Montefiore, UnitedHealthcare standoff

Reimbursement: Montefiore, UnitedHealthcare locked in dispute

People enrolled in UnitedHealthcare and Oxford employer-sponsored plans, as well as UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Dual Special Needs Plan, will have restored access to Montefiore’s hospitals, facilities and physicians, the health insurer said.

Nyack Hospital.

Montefiore officials said last year that about 60,000 patients could have been impacted by the standoff, which was fueled by negotiations over future reimbursement rates. The lack of a deal meant Montefiore physicians were considered out of network for commercial and Medicaid UnitedHealthcare policies starting Jan. 1, 2021, and Montefiore hospitals were out of network starting March 1, 2021.

Diane Serratore, CEO of People To People, said the long-term agreement between Montefiore and UnitedHealthcare is a relief.