Connecticut Comptroller Kevin Lembo is urging Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Hartford HealthCare to reach a deal to keep thousands of residents from paying much higher costs for health care.

Anthem and Hartford HealthCare both failed to reach an agreement Saturday on a new three-year contract. Due to the missed deadline, state patients insured through Anthem are considered out-of-network as of Sunday and now face higher out-of-pocket costs at hospitals in the system.

Lembo said in letters to both companies last week that if they failed to reach an agreement by this past Sunday, he’d be “forced” to direct more than 50,000 people covered by the state who use Hartford HealthCare to seek alternative providers.

The Democratic comptroller says he remains in direct communication with Anthem and HHC.