As the midnight deadline passed, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Hartford HealthCare failed to reach an agreement on contract terms. Starting today, Anthem and Hartford will face higher, out-of-network rates for services at Hartford HealthCare hospitals, and will be forced to seek medical attention elsewhere. Anthem spokespeople have said the main sticking point was payment increases in the first year of the new contract, saying Hartford wants a 100 percent guaranteed increase. Anthem, on the other hand, wants a combination of guaranteed increases and dollars paid based on the network’s performance. If negotiations fail for another month, more facilities, including Natchaug Hospital, Rushford Center mental health and addiction services, VNA Healthcare, Southington Care Center rehabilitation clinic and Jerome Home will all be out of network. Hartford HealthCare has already sent letters to 104,500 people who have Anthem coverage and have been patients in the past 12 months, warning them they would be out of network if no agreement is reached. Some hospital procedures, such as emergency care, will still be charged at in-network rates.
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