News From Kevin Lembo

LEMBO REINFORCES PATIENT PROTECTIONS AGAINST POTENTIAL FINANCIAL AND HEALTH HARM DURING PROLONGED ANTHEM-HARTFORD HEALTHCARE DISPUTE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            THURSDAY, November 9, 2017

Contact: Tara Downes
631-834-5234
Tara.Downes@ct.gov

Comptroller Kevin Lembo, in another communication directed at patients disrupted by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s (Anthem) and Hartford HealthCare Corporation’s (HHC) unacceptable contract standoff, directed health plan members to alternative providers and recommended protections against financial risks.

Lembo, as administrator of the state’s largest employer health plan, delivered this message to more than 50,000 people who are both Anthem members and Hartford HealthCare patients.

“This outrageous failure to reach agreement after this long threatens the welfare of everyone involved - not only for cancer patients, pregnant women and other patients who face disruption to essential care, but both of these large corporations,” Lembo said. “I am deeply disappointed by the continued failure by both parties to reach a contract resolution.”

Lembo, in a repeated follow-up warning to those on the state plan affected by this dispute, said that all Anthem members who use HHC providers should know of alternative provider options - and take steps necessary to protect against health and financial harm.

Lembo mailed an alternative provider list to affected members and warned patients what they should know about their potential financial liability in both EMERGENCY and NON-EMERGENCY situations.

For NON-EMERGENCY care:

Any Anthem member who seeks NON-EMERGENCY care at an HHC facility is at risk of being personally responsible for part or all of their treatment. That includes non-emergency treatment at acute-care facilities such as Hartford Hospital, The Hospital of Central Connecticut, MidState Medical Center, William W. Backus Hospital and Windham Community Memorial Hospital.

Lembo said patients should also contact Anthem for resources and questions about alternative non-HHC providers.

Those who do, in fact, seek NON-EMERGENCY care at an HHC facility during this ongoing contract lapse, may receive a bill from HHC for the costs of all or some of the services received. Failure to pay that bill could put those patients at risk of being referred to a collection agency.
Those who are undergoing essential ongoing treatment through an HHC provider should immediately contact Anthem to arrange for uninterrupted continuation of care, Lembo said.

For EMERGENCY care:

In the case of an actual medical emergency, always go to the nearest hospital emergency center. Emergency care will always be covered, whether at an HHC emergency room or not.

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