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No deal between WellNow and Excellus as deadline passes

A modern brick building with red awnings and a sign that says WellNow Urgent Care.
Scott Willis
A WellNow Urgent Care location in Fairmount Dec. 15, 2023.

Excellus Blue Cross/Blue Shield and WellNow were unable to strike a deal as the January first deadline came and went. That means Excellus members will have to pay sharply higher out-of-network rates and fees to get care, versus a modest co-pay.

In a statement, Excellus says they have made every effort to engage in good faith contract discussions with WellNow Urgent Care so they would remain in their network in 2024.

"WellNow, however, has declined our latest offer, which included an increase in reimbursement," the statement reads. "WellNow will be removed from our provider network effective Jan. 1, 2024. While we are disappointed by their decision, we’re prepared to help our members find the care they need."

Excellus is directing members to their website to learn about options for care including information on primary care doctors, telehealth and urgent care. They say the hospital emergency department should be reserved for only the most severe illness or injury.

For their part, WellNow confirms no agreement was reached. The Chicago-based company has said it was taking a stand against years of declining reimbursement rates while Excellus has increased rates for members.

In a previous statement, WellNow says the lack of an agreement "means higher out-of-pocket costs or longer waits at the nearest emergency room for families in Central and Western New York. That could mean people putting off needed care because of price or long waits, and urgent care centers may close for want of business," the statement said.

The company says Central New York Excellus members made 90,000 visits to WellNow in Onondaga County in 2022.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at