Healthcare battle continues to impact patients - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Healthcare battle continues to impact patients

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Contract negotiations continue for Anthem and Hartford Healthcare (WFSB) Contract negotiations continue for Anthem and Hartford Healthcare (WFSB)
BRISTOL, CT (WFSB) -

Contract negotiations between Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Hartford Healthcare are still at a stalemate.

It's disrupting care for thousands of people across the state and dozens have been reaching out to Channel 3, saying they are affected.

Every person has a different story of how these contract negotiations are affecting them, and many are worried about the outcome if decisions aren't made soon.

“They're pretty much at a deadlock right now, they aren't even negotiating something, you're hurting thousands of people in Connecticut,” said Tami Rafaniello, of Bristol.

The 30-year-old is offered three options for health insurance where she works.

"I have to carry Blue Cross and Blue Shield because my psychiatrist only carries that insurance,” Rafaniello said, adding that she needs her psychiatrist for specific medications. "Hartford Healthcare notified me multiple times that they are in negotiations don't worry about switching doctors it's fine."

Anthem and Hartford Healthcare failed to reach an agreement last month on a three-year contract.

"Then I got the notice, ‘oh we're out of network’,” Rafaniello said.

Her options were to switch doctors or pay 60 percent out of pocket for whatever the bill is.

“Any doctors’ visits, any prescriptions, anything I see going forward 60 percent will go,” and it means hundreds, Rafaniello said. "Some people decided they were going to choose a different one but I’m unfortunately one that can't."

She said it's also hard to find another doctor accepting patients so after five weeks she's still waiting for a resolution.

"I have until February to make that decision for my next visit,” Rafaniello said.

The state Comptrollers Office says the first thing Anthem patients should do is call their providers and Anthem to see what their options are.

You can't switch insurance carriers until annual open enrollment which is usually in May.

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