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Awaiting the Supreme Court: What Could it Mean for CT?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Policymakers and politicians, in CT and across the country, are eagerly awaiting/dreading tomorrow’s Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act. We’ve outlined a few possible scenarios and the potential impact on CT. All scenarios have an upside, and there is a way through for every possibility. No matter the decision, we are much farther along than before the ACA. Everyone is affected by rising costs, growing un/underinsurance, and lagging quality of care. And more importantly, after the ACA debates, virtually everyone understands that. A lot of important reforms happening now in CT are independent of the ACA and will likely continue. We can continue our momentum for reform. The status quo is no longer acceptable to anyone.

Courant editorial critical of Senate failure to add consumers to exchange board

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Yesterday’s Hartford Courant editorial voiced disappointment that the legislature and administration could not agree to add consumer and small business voices to the CT Health Insurance Exchange Board this session. The editorial notes that a bill adding a significant number of both voices passed the House but stalled in the Senate. The editorial notes both the need for the expertise of consumers and the perception that the lack of balance will taint the Board’s work with suspicion.

Thoughtleaders give CT health insurance exchange a C, again

Friday, June 15, 2012

CT thoughtleaders gave our state’s health insurance exchange a C grade again this month. For overall reform CT earned a C+ this month. CT’s reform efforts have not varied much over the last four months, earning a C or C+ in each Thoughtleader Survey. CT also earned a C+ for effort this month, as in the past. This month patient-centered medical homes were the highest rated at a B. Engaging Consumers in Policymaking continued to lag other areas, earning only a D grade. Themes among thoughtleader suggestions to improve progress include engaging consumers and small businesses in policymaking, and fostering collaboration, cooperation and respect. The Thoughtleader Survey is part of the CT Health Policy Project’s Health Reform Dashboard project at www.cthealthreform.org.

Only State Health Care Advocate gets a vote on the health insurance exchange

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Budget implementer legislation passed late yesterday included only a provision to give the State Health Care Advocate a vote on the CT Health Insurance Exchange Board. The bill did not add any independent consumer or small business members. While the Health Care Advocate is a respected and valued member, she serves at the pleasure of the Governor. Consumers will still have no independent voice on a board dominated by insurance interests and charged with deciding what health insurance options will be available on the Exchange. Furthermore, without real consumer membership, the Exchange Board does not comply with federal regulations. Despite legislation passed last year prohibiting any Board member affiliated with the insurance industry, three current members have only insurance experience. The vote is particularly disappointing in light of the unanimous and bipartisan approval by the House in the regular legislative session of a bill that would have added two new consumer members, as well as two small business representatives. It is hard to understand why the inclusion of consumers and small business members continues to be such a problem given the broad support among rank and file lawmakers. Ellen Andrews

What is at stake for CT in Supreme Court decision?

Monday, June 11, 2012

A great Health Affairs blog by Sonya Schwartz, of the National Academy for State Health Policy, outlines the likely impact on active states, like CT, of various Supreme Court ACA scenarios. She uses a Richter Scale of impact from 2.0 if the entire ACA is upheld to 8.0 if the entire law is invalidated. It is one of the more readable, but substantive, analyses I’ve seen.

HHS awards HealthyCT $75.8 million loan to develop new statewide nonprofit insurer

Friday, June 8, 2012

Today HHS announced approval of HealthyCT’s CO-OP application to develop a new non-profit insurance company for CT consumers. The federal $75.8 million loan is meant to cover start up costs and reserve funds for the new insurer. The CO-OP opportunity (Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan)was created in the national health reform Affordable Care Act, to foster more competitive markets and develop non-profit, consumer-driven insurance options. The HealthyCT model and application focus on improving the quality, coordination and continuity of care for the citizens of Connecticut, primarily in the individual and small group markets. HealthyCT plans to offer high-quality, coordinated medical care with strong physician-patient relationships at its foundation and encourage the use of patient-centered medical homes. HealthyCT was sponsored by two CT physician organizations – the CT State Medical Society and the CSMS IPA, but will be open to providers willing to work with HealthyCT and meet established criteria. As a non-profit health insurer, any surplus funds will go back into the plan to help keep premiums stable and improve the quality of care.

Benefits of the One Plan Health Insurance Health Plan

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Planning ahead for your future is easier said than done, especially when it comes to making sure that your future health is in good hands, and unfortunately many South Africans believe that proper health care is far out of their reach, and financial bracket. But worry no more, as One Plan Health Insurance is aiming to prove this perception wrong by offering affordable and comprehensible health care to all South Africans. And with various plans available there is sure to be one to suite your needs and your pocket. Here is a look at the comprehensive Health Plan from One Plan Health Insurance. What the One Plan Health Insurance Health Plan Offers You For only R 245 a month a single member on the One Plan Health Insurance Health Plan will receive R8 210 worth of cover per year. This includes doctor and dentist visits, scripted medication, repeat scripted medication, radiology, pathology and maternity and pre-birth care. A couple can enjoy all of these benefits for only R 490 and a couple with one child will only have to pay R680 to ensure that their entire family is covered. Under this plan you will also enjoy great eye care benefits, including a frame, comprehensive eye test and specially cut lenses. You will also enjoy the benefits of the Personal Protection Program, which means that in the case of crime related traumas you will be able to receive telephonic or face to face counselling, trauma related legal assistance and in the case of domestic violence you will have access to shelter facilities. You will also be covered in the case of accidental exposure to HIV and will be give two free blood tests and 31 days free anti-retroviral or prophylactic treatment. This means that the One Plan Health Insurance Health Plan covers you and your family in the vent of almost any medical issue. And by using your Onecard you will have your benefits paid directly to your card, where you will be able to use it at any medical facility. Who Will Benefit from the One Plan Health Insurance Health Plan? With the very competitive price of the One Plan Health Insurance Health Plan everyone under the age of 65 years will be able to benefit from the cover that it provides. A value added bonus to all One Plan Health Insurance members is that you will get 24 hour access to their emergency helpline, and in the event of a justifiable emergency the insured member will be transported by ambulance to the nearest medical facility. Furthermore all members enjoy the amazing deals, specials, discounts and goodies on offer at the OneLifestyle Online Mall. This online mall provides members the opportunity to take advantage of amazing online deals exclusive to One Plan Health Insurance members. And with over 300 different brands on offer you will be spoilt for choice to keep yourself happy and smiling all year round.

CT Health Reform Dashboard – CT up to 13.8%

Sunday, June 3, 2012

CT has jumped ahead in progress in health reform to 13.8% of the tasks completed, according to the June CT Health Reform Dashboard. This is up from 12.1% last month. While we are closing in on the major January 1, 2014 deadline for many reforms, much remains to be done. At this rate, it will take 4.2 years to achieve reform – down from 5.6 years last month. The dashboard can be found at www.cthealthreform.org.
 
 
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