anthem update

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COLUMBIA - Additional doctors have signed new contracts with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, representatives with Missouri Medical Affiliates said Thursday. 

These additions to Anthem's coverage come after a lengthy debate between Anthem and Missouri Medical Affiliates, which represents many local doctors. 

After no compromise was reached, physicians were given the option of re-signing on an individual basis after the deadline for these contracts passed in August. 

Since then, Joe Machens Dealerships in Columbia, which employs more than 500 Mid-Missourians, decided to no longer use Anthem as its healthcare insurance provider. 

"We have nothing against Anthem, but when you have this many employees, its a long process. We wanted to take care of our employees, that's why we did it," Lynn Dally, Human Resource Manager for Joe Machens, said. 

Additionally, Shelter Insurance, employing about 1,000 people in Columbia, is in the process of making changes to its insurance coverage for next year. 

Most recently, several doctors who were offered extensions, have decided to sign new, individual contracts with Anthem. 

"We haven't heard anything else, any change in their policy, we just contacted them and negotiated and decided to opt in ourselves," Stephanie Flakne, Director of Marketing and Technology for DeSpain Cayce Dermatology said.

DeSpain Cayce Dermatology signed its individual contract in early October. 

"We do hope that in the future that they'll change their financial policies and improve their relationship with the physicians," Flakne said.