Saturday, November 24, 2012
Just 6 days to comment on exchange health plan solicitation
Stakeholders had only six days to comment on the 40 page health plan solicitation from the CT Health Insurance Exchange – and it’s already over. Stakeholders in CA and MD had months to comment, with multiple drafts, meetings and opportunities to craft better proposals. The CT Health Policy Project’s initial comments centered on active purchasing, network adequacy, and the proposed “iterative process”. MA’s Connector has used active purchasing to save consumers millions in premiums – CT should do the same. When consumers are required to purchase coverage in the exchange, they must be able to get an appointment with a provider. HUSKY secret shoppers were only able to get appointments with 1 in 4 providers on the health plan lists. Using the standards from HUSKY contracts, thoroughly vetted in CT, and intensely monitoring compliance is key. The exchange’s proposal to initially implement a weak exchange and implement some standards later will sound eerily familiar to CT advocates – with a very poor history. Other comments include better cost sharing structures, standardize rating options so differences are meaningful, wellness programs that aren’t a screen for cherry-picking, constructive connections to the Medicaid program, accreditation standards, quality improvement plans (at least have one), and CID rate reviews as a floor. Perhaps the most troubling thing about the proposal is how much is taken on faith in attestations from insurers. Will anyone be monitoring to see if the promises are real?