Friday, June 7, 2013

Intern Academy agenda updated

The agenda and speakers list for the June 18th CT Health Intern Academy have been updated. Free and open to anyone interested in learning more about health policy, the event will be June 18th, from 9:30 am to 2 pm at the Legislative Office Building. The agenda includes panels on Health Policy Trends, State & Congressional Advocacy, Health & the Media, Networks & Collaboration and a tour of the Capitol. Speakers include State Comptroller Kevin Lembo, along with small business, nonprofit, lobbying, insurer, broker, policy and fiscal analyst, provider, state legislative and Congressional staff, state agency, community organizer, reporter and social media experts. Lunch and parking are available, but registration is required. The Academy is made possible with support from the CT Health Foundation. For more information, visit

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Bill directing exchange to negotiate premiums died on House calendar

SB-596, a bill that would have implemented active purchasing in Connecticut’s health insurance exchange, died yesterday without action by the House on the last day of the session. The bill passed the Senate last week. The bill directed exchange staff to negotiate premiums with insurers. Negotiations in California and Massachusetts’s exchanges have kept costs down for consumers and small businesses. According to reports, the insurance industry lobbied heavily against 596. Members of the House worked hard to pass the bill, but were overridden by leadership. Exchange staff was not supportive of the bill. The administration agreed to language in a budget implementer bill that the exchange “may” negotiate premiums with insurers, a largely meaningless move. But in the end, an amendment was added removing even that language.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Anthem proposed rates for inside and outside exchange filed

Yesterday, Anthem’s proposed 2014 rates were posted on the insurance department’s website. Proposed base rates (costs for an average 21 year old in an average plan before adjustment for age, geography and benefit plan) average $296.49 and $440.30 per month for individuals and small businesses respectively. Rates reflect an 8.6% increase over 2013. These averages are for products inside and outside the exchange. Consumers will compare these rates with those proposed by HealthyCT, ConnectiCare and Aetna at $427, $397 and $364 per month for individuals. It is not clear that these numbers compare apples to apples.