Still no agreement with Hartford Healthcare and Anthem

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HARTFORD — Higher costs could be coming for customers of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield.

This comes after the insurance provider and Hartford Healthcare failed to agree on a new three-year contract.

If you have Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Hartford Healthcare is now out of network as of October 1 because the companies could not reach a contract agreement.

On Tuesday, Hartford Healthcare and Aetna announced they had agreed on a three year contract.

The new contract includes all Aetna members in commercial, employer-based healthcare and Aetna Medicare Advantage plans. Hospitals included in the agreement are Hartford Hospital, The Hospital of Central Connecticut, MidState Medical Center, Backus Hospital and Windham Hospital. The contract also includes numerous Hartford HealthCare programs and services, as well as about 2,000 physicians and medical professionals.

As many as 60,000  people in Connecticut are now out of network with Hartford Healthcare.  That means you and your family will have to pay higher out-of-pocket costs for Hartford Healthcare doctors..

The Hartford Healthcare Network includes Hartford,  Backus And Windham hospitals, the Hospital of Central Connecticut, Midstate Medical Center as well as other care centers.

If there is a life-threatening emergency, Hartford Hospital says call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room. Just call your doctor or Anthem as soon as you can afterwards.

If you`re pregnant or receiving treatment for an ongoing or chronic condition, you should apply for continuation of care benefits through Anthem.

State Comptroller Kevin Lembo has been meeting with both Anthem and Hartford Healthcare to help them reach an agreement.  He says he feels like the two sides are closer to a deal than it would appear, but there are some fundamental differences still. He says, it`s time for them to get it done.  “We have people with cancer people who are scheduled for surgery, not only scheduled on a piece of paper but psychically scheduled to go in in for surgery. It`s a big deal, ” said Lembo.

Jane Mailhiot feels stuck in the middle. “I’m really hoping they resolve this issue because many of us use Hartford Healthcare physicians and the hospitals that are affiliated, and it can be an inconvenience esp for the elderly who don`t have transportation to get to doctors further away.”

“I wish they would stop fooling around with this because they do this every single time where they just bicker and dicker and they send out all sorts of warnings saying this that and the other thing and eventually they wind up with some sort of settlement but in the meantime they’re playing with peoples lives,” said Len Auster, of Manchester.