Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell said she ordered the termination of the managed-care responsibilities of the four health insurers in the states program for uninsured children after the two largest contractors refused to comply with public accountability standards under the Freedom of Information Act.
Anthem Health Plans and Health Net have consistently refused to abide by the states Freedom of Information law, a tactic that she called utterly deplorable, in a news release. As a result, the state Department of Social Services was directed to assume operation of most services in the states Healthcare for UninSured Kids & Youth, or HUSKY, program, so that like the Medicaid program for seniors and people with disabilities, it will be run without managed-care contractors setting doctor payment rates and making decisions about medical services.
Rell said that considering the state spends more than $700 million a year in taxpayer money to provide services under the HUSKY program, it is only right to fully disclose how this money is spent.
In a written statement, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield officials said the decision to end the current arrangement resulted from a lack of protection for Anthems proprietary information. Confidentiality provisions, which are also used by other health benefit plans, prevent the sharing of confidential information that would reduce competition in the marketplace and, in turn, could increase healthcare costs for members.
Meanwhile, a Health Net spokesman said the insurer was disappointed, but we will work with the state on the transition. -- by Cinda Becker