News From Kevin Lembo

COMPTROLLER LEMBO URGES ANTHEM AND HARTFORD HEALTH TO PROTECT THOUSANDS FROM NEEDLESS HEALTH CARE DISRUPTION OR FINANCIAL DISTRESS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            MONDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2017

Contact: Tara Downes
860-702-3308
Tara.Downes@ct.gov 

Comptroller Kevin Lembo announced today that he has urged Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Hartford HealthCare Corporation (HHC) to immediately negotiate a fair contract agreement to avoid potentially devastating interruption to health care access and significant financial distress for hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents.

The contract between Anthem and HHC lapsed as of Sunday, putting hundreds of thousands of Anthem consumers and HHC patients at risk of significant financial costs and health care access disruption.

Lembo has been, and remains, in direct communication with leaders at both Anthem and HHC.

In letters to both corporations last week, Lembo said, “If Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Hartford HealthCare Corporation fail to reach agreement by October 1, then - as administrator of the state health plan - I will be forced to direct more than 50,000 people covered by the State of Connecticut who use Hartford HealthCare to seek alternative providers.

“I understand that contract negotiations like these have become increasingly complicated over the years - exacerbated by a volatile and uncertain health care landscape.

“While the future of federal health care remains unclear, our moral responsibility to preserve a stable health care system here in Connecticut - one that delivers quality and affordable care - remains very clear.

“A lapse in contract that disrupts care and poses financially devastating consequences for all of us who are caught in the middle of your dispute is unnecessary and unacceptable.

“For the sake of hundreds of thousands here in Connecticut depending on your leadership, I encourage you to demonstrate to all of us that you recognize the necessity of both parties working toward an immediate resolution to this contract dispute.”

In a separate communication to approximately 50,000 people on the state plan who are both Anthem members and utilize HHC providers, Lembo warned those members about the possible contract lapse - and the risk of financial costs that HHC may impose for any treatment provided during that time.

“If these companies fail to resolve and renew their contract by Oct. 1, then HHC providers will no longer be covered by Anthem’s network - and HHC has indicated that its providers will pursue the full financial cost of any treatment provided during that time directly from patients,” Lembo said.

“In past contract disputes and lapses, acute care hospitals have always agreed to work with the state plan to ensure that health care access to our members is protected and to hold our members harmless from any potential disruption or financial impact. However, my office has been notified by HHC that state members may indeed experience disruption and financial impact this time if they are unable to resolve their contract dispute with Anthem by Oct.1.”

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