Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Dear State Employee/Anthem Member,
As a member of the State of Connecticut health plan – and a current or former patient of a Hartford HealthCare provider – it is important that you are aware of an ongoing contract dispute between Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield (Anthem) and Hartford HealthCare Corporation (HHC) that threatens to disrupt health care service and coverage.
If these companies fail to resolve and renew their contract by October 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.
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 October 1.
In an effort to protect state employees and retirees from any financial ramifications associated with the ongoing dispute between HHC and Anthem, I want to make you aware of this significant issue as it applies to your health care options.
The state health plan ensures that – regardless of any contract dispute between an insurance company and health care provider – full coverage will be preserved for our members at all acute care hospitals in Connecticut. It is our hope that, despite HHC’s current position, your health care coverage will continue undisrupted if Anthem and HHC’s contract lapses at the following facilities: Hartford Hospital, The Hospital of Central Connecticut, MidState Medical Center, William W. Backus Hospital and Windham Community Memorial Hospital.
During this period, should you receive a bill from any of the facilities above during any contract lapse, please hold on to the bill pending the outcome of contract negotiations.
However, all other HHC providers, including certain HHC physician groups, urgent and walk-in care centers, and other non-hospital facilities, will no longer be covered if the Anthem-HHC contract lapses on October 1. If you obtain services at any HHC facility or provider other than the acute care hospitals identified above, then you may be putting yourself at financial risk of bearing the full cost of those services since these facilities will be treated as out of network providers.
In order to verify whether your coverage will be disrupted – or to access a list of alternative providers – Anthem is maintaining up-to-date information about this ongoing dispute at: http://group.anthem.com/HHC or by calling the customer service number on your Anthem membership card.
Again, my hope is that HHC and Anthem will quickly and responsibly resolve their contract dispute to avoid any disruption to service and coverage for more than 50,000 HHC patients covered by the state plan – and hundreds of thousands more in our state.
I can assure you that my office is in regular communication with both HHC and Anthem, and will do everything possible to ensure that all plan members have access to quality and affordable care.