Thirty-three thousand people in Anthem Blue Cross HMO plans are receiving letters reassigning them to new doctors starting January 1st of next year.
The insurance company says the change has nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act.
Darrel Ng from Anthem says state law requires that policyholders be notified when a contract ends.
“Anthem Blue Cross did approach Sutter about extending the contract at the current terms, but Sutter declined. So therefore we had to send the letters out,” says Eng.
But Sutter Health says the reassignment letters were unnecessary.
It says it hopes to reach a contract with the insurer by the end of the year.
In that case, Anthem members can call the insurer to be reassigned back to Sutter.
Even if an agreement is not reached, Sutter says Anthem could have allowed patients six more months to find new doctors.