Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Guv Fires HMOs For Flouting FOI

By Christine Stuart
November 19, 2007 8:42 PM

Gov. M. Jodi Rell put her foot down Monday and terminated the state’s contract with the four HMOs that run the state’s HUSKY insurance program for low-income families.

The termination of the contract is the culmination of a two-year battle to get the insurance companies to disclose their doctor reimbursement rates and other criteria health care advocates and legal aid attorneys claim the state needs in order to help families who receive these benefits gain greater access to the health care system.

Mrs. Rell said Anthem Health Plans Inc. and Health Net, two of the four largest HMOs, have consistently refused to recognize the state’s Freedom of Information law. She said while in contract negotiations with these companies, they stated that if they were forced to comply with FOI law they would drop their HUSKY services with only 15 days’ notice. Rell called this tactic “utterly deplorable.”

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