HealthFirst Authority draft report

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The Authority’s much anticipated draft report was unveiled earlier this month. Thankfully, it does not include a recommendation for an individual mandate that all consumers must purchase health insurance. The report does recommend auto-enrollment in public programs of anyone who is uninsured with an income under 300% of the federal poverty level. A report on the inadvisability of an individual mandate in CT will be coming soon from the CT Health Policy Project.

Otherwise, the draft contains some good ideas that have been widely discussed – value based purchasing, evidence based medicine, raising Medicaid provider rates, maximizing federal funding, chronic disease care coordination, accelerate adoption of health information technology, better data collection and analysis, cost containment, and health care workforce planning. The authors intend to expand coverage options for CT residents by building on employer-sponsored health care, creating a pool based on the state employee health plan to offer coverage to those with an employer offer, with affordability standards and premium subsidies, and expansions of public programs including Charter Oak. The reforms could be coordinated by current agencies or a new entity. The authors recommend implementation and evaluation of Primary Care Case Management. Cost estimates for the recommendations will be available next month when the Authority will take a final vote on the report.
Ellen Andrews