NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– If you have health insurance through Anthem Blue Cross, you may find yourself paying a lot more for medical care. The insurance company could not reach an agreement with the Hartford Healthcare system this weekend.
If you are one of the 60,000 people who have Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield for health insurance and you rely on facilities in the Hartford HealthCare system, you are going to pay a lot more for your health care.
The contract between the insurer and the provider was up Saturday night at midnight. With no contract in place, that means Hartford’s facilities are considered out of network for Anthem customers. And that means Anthem customers will have to pay a lot more out of pocket.
During the day on Saturday, the latest offer for a new, 3 year deal was rejected by Hartford HealthCare. A Hartford HealthCare spokesman tells the Courant that Anthem is paying other providers more than it is paying them. A spokeswoman for Anthem tells the paper that Hartford HealthCare wanted cost-of-living increases each year that were two to three times the rate of inflation.
Here’s part of what Anthem has posted on its website right now.
“We worked very hard to avoid this outcome and we will continue to pursue a resolution with Anthem. In the meantime, our number one priority is to ensure you have the resources to get the care you need during this time.”
You may remember the exact same thing happened three years ago, and Anthem still treated emergency care as in-network while they had no contract. In 2014, it took them three weeks to come together on a new contract.
In a statement, Anthem says, “HHC is requesting a rate increase that is two to three times the rate of inflation and that is not acceptable to us, and not acceptable to our members.”
Patrick Pelletier is one of the 60,000 insured by Anthem who feels uncertain about where things stand. “If I need health care, which, you know, I have a heart condition and all that and I have to see my doctors, then I may have to pay extra, if they don’t settle this,” he said.
Anthem says it has other in-network providers and hospitals throughout the state who can meet the health care needs of their members.
Shawn Mawhiney with Hartford HealthCare says they are urging folks to fill out the Anthem Continuity of Care forms. He says that so far 500 have been filled out.