CT ranks 15th among states in healthcare affordability, but that’s not saying much

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Connecticut has implemented many policies to make healthcare affordable; unfortunately, they aren’t working. According to Altarum’s new Healthcare Affordability State Policy Scorecard, Connecticut earned 43.1 out of 80 possible points. There is a lot of room for improvement.

Altarum ranked states on adoption of policies that can impact affordability and on outcomes, whether care is affordable. The scorecard assesses performance in four areas – Curbing excess Prices in the System, reducing low-value care, extending coverage to all state residents, and making out-of-pocket costs affordable.

Surprisingly, Connecticut did well on affordable out-of-pocket costs in both policies and outcomes. Our policies to curb high prices are pretty good, but they aren’t working well. We are about in the middle of states in reducing low-value care and covering all residents.

 CT rank — PoliciesCT rank — Outcomes
Curbing high prices14th38th
Reducing low value care20th21st
Covering all residents22nd12th
Affordable out-of-pocket costs3rd8th

Altarum’s 2020 survey of Connecticut residents found that 44% experienced cost barriers to needed care, 24% struggle to pay medical bills, and 74% worry about affording care in the future. Healthcare tops Connecticut residents’ priorities for government.

The report includes more policies Connecticut could adopt but is silent on how we can make the policies we’ve passed work better.

Affordability policies and outcomes
Curbing high pricesPolicy optionsAPCD, price ceilings, oversight entity, price transparency
 OutcomesPrivate payer prices vs. Medicare
Reduce low value carePolicy optionsPatient safety reporting, antibiotic stewardship, measuring low value care
 OutcomesHopkins overuse index
Covering all residentsPolicy optionsExpand Medicaid, help for higher income families, immigrants, strong insurance rate review
 OutcomesPercent uninsured
Affordable out-of-pocket costsPolicy optionsSurprise bill protections, limit short term plans, waive cost share for high value care, insurance exchange standard plan design
 OutcomesPercent of adults who can’t get needed care due to cost