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A new blog, CT Health Insurance Exchange Watch, is tracking development of CT’s Health Insurance Exchange. The blog is jointly sponsored by Small Business for a Healthy CT and the CT Health Policy Project. The latest entry includes an analysis noting that the percent of small businesses in MA offering health benefits to workers rose by 2% from 2005 to 2010, while the US average fell 4% and CT’s rate dropped 7%. MA implemented sweeping health reforms in 2006, including creation of a health insurance exchange. Members of CT’s exchange Board have been hyper-focused on low small business enrollment in MA’s exchange, but they are asking the wrong question. If offer rates are up, who cares if they are buying their coverage in the exchange or outside it? If building a source of affordable, quality health care puts pressure on the rest of the market, it has done its job. CT’s Board needs to focus on building a functional exchange that exerts competitive pressure on the entire market to expand coverage options with value.
Ellen Andrews