Exchange active purchasing bill has a public hearing

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The legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee has raised SB-11, An Act Concerning the Duties of the CT Health Insurance Exchange, and will hold a public hearing on the bill next Tuesday. SB-11 requires the CT Health Insurance Exchange to active purchase health coverage for the estimated one in ten state residents who will purchase health insurance there. The bill directs the exchange to negotiate premiums with insurers to keep insurance affordable for the individuals and small businesses. Last year’s bill for the same purpose was approved by the committee, passed the Senate but died on the House calendar. The exchange Board and staff rejected active purchasing, claiming it would be “too adversarial” toward insurance companies. As predicted, CT’s insurance exchange premiums are4th highest in the US, higher than all other state-based exchanges,and far higher than higher cost of living, surrounding states that negotiate premiums on behalf of consumers.

The public hearing on SB-11 will be this Tuesday, February 18th at 11:30pm in Room 2D of the Legislative Office Building. Sign up begins at 9:30am in Room 2800 of the LOB, where you can deliver 30 copies of written testimony for distribution to committee members.