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State Senator

Mae Flexer

Representing Brooklyn, Canterbury, Killingly, Mansfield, Putnam, Scotland, Thompson & Windham

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Legislators Urge Anthem, Hartford Healthcare to Reach Contract Agreement

Legislators representing towns in eastern Connecticut urged Hartford HealthCare and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield to reach an agreement by Nov. 11 in their contract negotiations over reimbursement rates for medical treatment.

“As negotiations continue—without resolution—we urge you to redouble your efforts to come to an agreement,” Representatives Gregg Haddad (D-Mansfield), Susan Johnson (D-Windham), Linda Orange (D-Colchester), Michael Winkler (D-Vernon) and Senator Mae Flexer (D-Killingly) said in a letter sent Tuesday to the healthcare network and insurance company.

“The effect that your inability to come to agreement has on many insured residents is worsening each day. This is true not only for people who have had to have surgery out-of-network, and also for people who are unable to change insurance companies due to geographic constraints,” the legislators said.

“Many of our constituents are struggling financially, and this contract dispute has left them less secure,” Haddad said. “While Hartford HealthCare and Anthem have reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in profits over the past few years, our constituents are struggling to make ends meet.”

“Anthem is one of the nation’s largest health benefits companies and in fiscal 2014 Hartford HealthCare reported $103 million in profit margins on $2.5 billion in revenue. It’s time they stop sacrificing our constituents and bargain with everyone’s interests in mind,” Rep. Linda Orange said.

“The ongoing contract dispute threatens to severely disrupt the health care of Windham residents who rely on Windham Hospital. Worse still, the burden will fall the hardest on those individuals and families struggling to get by, who may not have the resources to access medical services outside our region,” Rep. Johnson said. “I urge both parties to come to a resolution that prioritizes their patients and clients.”

“The health care of Connecticut residents should not suffer because of Anthem and HHC’s inability to reach an agreement,” Flexer said. “My colleagues and I are calling on you to sit down at the table and reach an agreement. Connecticut residents are not part of your negotiation, they should not suffer because of it, and they should not be treated as a bargaining chip. So please, get back to work, reach an agreement and end this stalemate.”

According to the Hartford Business Journal, the “longer the time period without a contract, the more concerned HHC patients are that they will have to switch doctors to be covered by insurance.”

“Many rural and semi-rural areas have limited health care options and removing for example, Windham Hospital, Backus Hospital and Hartford Hospital has a negative impact on their care. Additionally, HHC has acquired many physician practices which are now considered to be out-of-network for Anthem customers,” the legislators said.

“We ask that you come to a contractual agreement before Nov. 11, and that any new agreement should be retroactive to ensure coverage,” they said.

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