There was an active exchange in today’s public hearing on SB-11, a bill that would direct CT’s health insurance exchange to negotiate premiums with insurers on behalf of consumers. Advocates, providers and a legislator testified in favor that passage of SB-11 would make coverage more affordable for consumers and small businesses, noting that all our neighboring states negotiate and their residents enjoy lower exchange premiums. Opponents including insurers, CBIA and the CT Insurance Dept. stated that negotiating premiums would increase uncertainty for insurers and is unnecessary as CID already regulates rates. In answer to legislator questions, it was clearly stated that proponents expect SB-11 to build on the important work of CID and in no way to usurp their authority or call into question the quality of their work. Consumers need as many in our corner as possible to lower the cost of coverage, including both CID and the exchange.