BRIDGTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Increased drive times, longer waits for medical care and losing the right to chose your doctors are just some of the concerns about a proposed deal between Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and Maine Health, the largest healthcare organization in the state.

Hundreds criticized the plan at a public hearing in Auburn Thursday night. If approved by the Maine Bureau of Insurance, Anthem's insurance plan could exclude certain patients from seeing doctors at six Maine Hospitals, including Bridgton Hospital.

Anthem customers, 89-year old Ruth Hazelton and her husband live ten minutes from the Bridgton hospital, say the plan would force them to travel more than an hour to Maine Medical Center to get the same medical care. The partnership would affect about 9-thousand people and that has Hazelton worried.

'What doctors are going to take on the number of people that are going to be required to travel to other places for medical care? If you have an emergency you need the care that day, you can't afford to wait three weeks for an appointment,' said Hazelton.

Anthem patients who purchased policies before March 2010 are grandfathered and will not have to change doctors.

A final hearing on the Anthem plan will be held on September 9th at the Cross State Office Building in Augusta.

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