Cancer patient to lose coverage for UCHealth specialist due to Anthem plan change

New changes to Anthem's individual market plan in Denver means Aurora, Colo.-based UC Health will no longer be in network for 31-year-old Johnathon Jansen, who's being treated by a cancer specialist at the system, reports ABC affiliate Denver7.

Mr. Jansen was diagnosed with stage 4 gastrointestinal cancer in 2017 and learned on Nov. 25 that upcoming changes to his Anthem plan would no longer cover UCHealth in 2021, though his premium would be lowered.

"It was a heart-stopper, nerve wracking … wondering if I'm going to be able to keep my doctors or not," he told Denver7.

Tony Felts, senior director of communications at Anthem, said the insurer is rolling out its Pathway Essentials network in 2021 as a "a new benefit plan for individuals seeking a lower premium who are comfortable choosing from a more tailored network of healthcare providers."

UCHealth opted not to participate in the individual market plan, but still remains contracted and in-network for all other Anthem plans, according to Mr. Felts. 

"We were not notified until this fall that the insurance carrier was removing our facilities from its exchange plan, which is why we won't have an alternative plan ready for the exchange by Jan. 1," Dan Weaver, UCHealth's vice president of communications, told Denver7.

Mr. Weaver said the system is trying to help numerous patients receive an exception to the network change, adding that many have already had their request approved.

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