Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Connecticut Legislators considering proposals which will increase cost

The Connecticut General Assembly is considering a variety of proposals, which if enacted, would increase the cost of medical insurance. Interesting isn't it in these times when the focus should be on improving the business climate and working on policies to encourage job creation.

Here are the highlights of a couple proposals:

SustiNet is a proposal resulting from a study over the last couple years. SustiNet certainly has some worthwhile goals but the ideas on how medical insurance will be provided are based on approaches, which will not be economical for the state or effective for participants if it were to be created.

Some background on another proposal. Federal health reform includes a requirement for states to develop an Exchange. The idea is to have a central place for individuals or small employers to review different medical insurance options and then enroll. A yet to be developed high tech enrollment system, where a person will enter extensive personal financial information, will be used to determine:
+ If their income level qualifies them for MedicAID, the coverage for low income individuals,

+ If they will be eligible for a subsidy to purchase coverage. It will be available to those whose income is up to 400% of the federal poverty level.

The system will then automatically enroll them in their selected coverage.

The Exchange receives federal funds to help with development but it will have to be self sustaining within one year of beginning operation Jan. 1, 2014. To do that without an unreasonable assessment on participating health plans, which would make them more expensive than plans outside the Exchange it needs to have a flexible and economical operation.

One of the proposals would use lots of government management (expensive), would limit consumer choices, and require more extensive and thus more expensive coverage than planned in federal reform.

Questions? Contact me at (860) 451-9793.