WASHINGTON – As negotiations between Hartford HealthCare and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield have stalled, U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and U.S. Representatives John Larson (CT-1), Joe Courtney (CT-2), Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), Jim Himes (CT-4), and Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) on Friday urged Hartford Healthcare CEO Elliot Joseph and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Connecticut President and General Manager Jill Hummel to reach an agreement and resolve the contract dispute as soon as possible. The dispute has threatened access to affordable health care services for roughly 60,000 Connecticut residents.
“We write today to express our concern for the approximately 60,000 patients and policyholders affected by the ongoing impasse between Anthem and Hartford Healthcare. These Connecticut residents rely on the health care and health coverage provided by your respective organizations, and the current stalemate in negotiations is disruptive and a disservice to them,” said the delegation. “Continued gridlock is harmful to everyone involved. We urge you to seek a prompt resolution.”
The contract between Hartford HealthCare and Anthem expired on September 30, 2017. Beginning on October 1, 2017, all Hartford HealthCare hospitals, ancillary providers and employed physicians are considered out of network for patients with Anthem commercial, exchange and Medicare Advantage plans, resulting in higher out-of-pocket costs for these patients.
The full text of the letter is available online and below:
We write today to express our concern for the approximately 60,000 patients and policyholders affected by the ongoing impasse between Anthem and Hartford Healthcare. These Connecticut residents rely on the health care and health coverage provided by your respective organizations, and the current stalemate in negotiations is disruptive and a disservice to them. While we respect that this is a private negotiation between two private entities, and do not make any representations as to the merits of either side’s position, we urge you to work in good faith to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.
Choosing and retaining a health care provider and health insurer is a personal, and often complex, choice. Patients, especially those who are dealing with chronic or acute illnesses, are now left with the difficult choice of either paying higher out-of-network rates or finding care elsewhere with another provider who may not be able to see them when needed. Additionally, this causes significant confusion for patients as to what services remain in-network.
Hartford Healthcare and Anthem both play a significant role in the delivery of health care in the state of Connecticut and have built trusted reputations over their many years of service. Continued gridlock is harmful to everyone involved, and we hope to work with both of you once a solution is reached to ensure Connecticut residents have quality and affordable health care. Thank you in advance for your consideration, as we urge you to seek a prompt resolution.