Anthem and Hartford Healthcare each announced Sunday that the two had failed to come to a new in-network provider agreement, meaning hundreds of thousands of Anthem policyholders will now be treated as “out-of-network” patients in Hartford Healthcare facilities.
The news comes after months of negotiations between the insurance company and the healthcare provider, as their three-year contract was coming to a close at the end of September.
In dueling statements, each did pledge to work with the other to come to an agreement, but a statement released by Anthem, did point the finger firmly at Hartford Healthcare.
“Anthem is seeking for HHC to agree to increases that are comparable to increases accepted by other hospitals in the state,” the statement said. “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.”
Hartford Healthcare now being considered an out-of-network provider now means that policyholders will have higher out-of-pocket costs for insurance, and in-network prices on things like co-pays could skyrocket.
David Whitehead, Hartford Healthcare’s Executive Vice President, said in a statement, “We are working hard to resume our partnership with Anthem, and we are committed to reaching a fair agreement with Anthem — one that allows us to operate in a sustainable way while protecting access to caregivers you trust and providing the quality care you deserve. It is our hope that Anthem will work in good faith to agree to a new contract.”
In the meantime, all of Hartford Healthcare’s properties, including the Hospital of Central Connecticut, Backus Hospital, MidState Medical Center, and Windham Hospital among other facilities will all be considered out-of-network for Anthem policyholders. In order for them to have the most cost-effective medical care, they would have to find care in other healthcare systems.