Supporters of SustiNet, the state’s plan for health reform, the administration and legislature have come to an agreement that includes creating a SustiNet Cabinet to shepherd the implementation of reforms in CT. The Cabinet will develop a business plan for a public option of health coverage and study the feasibility of exercising the Basic Health Program Option under national health reform to cover low income state residents not eligible for Medicaid. The Cabinet would be led by Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman. The agreement also creates an Office of Health Care Reform and Innovation in the Lt. Governor’s Office to be headed by Jeanette DeJesus, currently Deputy Commissioner of Public Health coordinating CT’s health reform efforts. The agreement also allows municipalities to begin purchasing coverage through the state employee health plan this July and nonprofits who do business with the state can buy in next July.
Details of the labor agreement negotiated between the administration and state employees are becoming more clear. An important part of the deal is implementation of value-based purchasing including preventive care, screenings, disease management, and incentives for maintenance medications. Employees who do not opt to engage in these wellness programs will pay more for their benefits. There are also a disincentive to ER visits that do not result in admission and increased support for the retiree trust fund.