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Archive for April 2012

CT small businesses struggle with health benefits

A new survey by the Universal Health Care Foundation of CT found that two out of three CT small businesses can’t afford to offer health benefits to employees. A tiny fraction (6%) of small business owners who don’t offer coverage, don’t want to. Among those that offer health benefits, most have had to shift more…

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Collaboration and transparency key to MD’s insurance exchange success

Maryland is widely recognized as a leader in implementing national health reforms, particularly developing their state health insurance exchange well ahead of other states. Health insurance exchanges were created under national health reform as an understandable, fair marketplace for consumers and small businesses to understand and purchase health plans that provide value for the price;…

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Bill to increase consumers on insurance exchange board passes House

Yesterday the House unanimously passed a much improved version of HB 5013. The amendment added another consumer and another small business representative to the Board, in addition to the one each in the original bill raised by the Insurance Committee. Also different from the committee version, the bill gives Republicans a voice in nominating the…

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Insurance exchange committee updates

The first meetings of the four CT health insurance exchange advisory committees were largely uneventful and had a lot in common. They were mainly led by consultants, lacked diversity, emphasized principles (already drafted by the consultants), timelines and goals. In three committees, access to outside information was limited and discouraged. In contrast, the Consumer committee…

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Insurance exchange meeting update

The CT Health Insurance Exchange Board chose their three CEO candidates to send on to the Governor at last week’s meeting. The decision was made without a voting consumer representative and after another hour-long closed-door meeting. Names of the three chosen were not released; hopefully they do not have close ties to the insurance industry.…

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Donaghue Conference: Assessing Risk

This year’s Donaghue Conference, Evaluating Risk: How Perception Affects our Health, is Thursday, May 3rd, from 7:30am – 12:30pm at the Hartford Marriott Farmington, 15 Farm Springs Road in Farmington. Speakers will cover the factors that account for how we evaluate risk and how this influences public health communications and priorities and our own responses…

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Medicaid Council hears payment reform plan for duals

On Friday, the Medical Assistance Program Oversight Council heard DSS’ plans for a shared savings payment model for people eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare. The Council also heard feedback and recommendations from the Council’s model design subcommittee. The plan is to create 3 to 5 local Health Neighborhoods (HNs) in CT to provide comprehensive,…

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Connecticut moves up to a C+ on health reform

This month Connecticut health care thought leaders give our state a C+ on health reform, up from a C in the March survey. Connecticut again received a slightly better grade, B-/C+, for effort. Medicaid is again the bright spot, earning a B. Health Insurance Market Reform and Data-based Policymaking joined Engaging Consumers in Policymaking in…

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HIT privacy bill watered significantly down

Last week the Public Health Committee made significant changes to SB 368, originally designed to protect consumers’ private health information. The bill would have required HITE CT, our state’s developing health information exchange, to get patient consent before sharing any medical records on the exchange. Termed opt-in, this privacy policy has been adopted by all…

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