Attorney General George Jepsen said Friday he is not satisfied with the actions federal regulators have taken in response to UnitedHealthcare’s move to drop doctors from its network.
Jepsen called on the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to scrutinize UnitedHealthcare after the insurance company began dropping physicians from its Medicare Advantage network in October and declined to say how many physicians and patients may be impacted.
The attorney general doesn’t have the power to compel the health insurance carrier to come forward with the information about its network or to extend the Medicare enrollment period beyond Dec. 7, so he reached out to regulators earlier this month.
Although the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services agreed to review the issue, it declined to extend the open enrollment period. Jepsen’s office released a statement Friday saying that he hoped the review would be a thorough one, but the action was not good enough and did not leave patients enough time to make informed decisions on their health plans.
“I am not satisfied with CMS’s response, and I am gravely concerned that the burden these terminations place on seniors has been greatly underestimated,” he said. “. . . The scope of United’s reductions is unprecedented, and the process has lacked transparency for both physicians and patients.”
Jepsen said he has written back to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to object to the decision. He encouraged concerned patients and caregivers from Connecticut to also reach out directly to the federal regulators.