CTNJ op-ed: Health insurance affordability review is good, but it’s no silver bullet

A movement to include affordability in the Insurance Department’s review of health insurance premiums is gaining champions. That’s a good thing. The best care is useless if you can’t afford it. Holding insurers accountable for lowering costs is important, but it’s not going to solve everything. We need to do much more to get costs…

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No evidence to justify increases for 7 of top 10 most costly drugs

The latest Unsupported Price Increase report from the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review finds that, last year, seven of the ten most costly drugs in the US that raised net prices well over the rate of general inflation, had no new clinical evidence of effectiveness to justify the increases. The increases on just these…

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CT’s best healthcare secret — CID’s Consumer Report Card

It may not attract the same enthusiasm as other holidays this time of year, but if you’re shopping for health insurance during this Open Enrollment season, you need this resource. As a health policy researcher, there are few better sources of information on how insurers are performing. The Consumer Report Card on Health Insurance Carriers…

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CTNJ Analysis: Yale-New Haven Health announces layoffs while planning to buy 3 hospitals, and why it matters

It’s puzzling. Yale-New Haven Health System recently announced 72 layoffs and eliminated 155 positions among their managers, but they scored large profits last year and they have enough money to buy three more Connecticut hospitals. If approved by the state, the acquisitions will make Yale the largest health system in the state. We should all…

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CTNJ Op-Ed: Insurers’ explanations for extreme rate increases don’t make sense

Connecticut’s health insurers are asking state regulators to let them increase premiums an average of 20.4%, far more than last year’s 8.6% request. Insurers in other states are asking for less than half as much. Connecticut insurers are blaming increased demand for services due to COVID backlogs, that deductibles aren’t keeping up with rising costs,…

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Covered CT opens no-cost health insurance coverage to adults

Friday, the state expanded zero-cost health insurance coverage to include childless adults through the Covered Connecticut program. The program covered parents and child caregivers starting last year, but now any Connecticut adult with qualifying income can enroll in zero-cost health insurance through Access Health CT. The state expects 40,000 people to qualify for the expanded…

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CTNJ Op-Ed: Advice from an advocate for the next OHS Director

Op-Ed: Advice from an advocate for the next OHS Director This week the Lamont administration announced that Vicki Veltri will be leaving state service in a few weeks. She will be missed. Director of the Office of Health Strategy is a tough job. The cost of healthcare is straining every budget in the state, including…

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More doctors are moving to corporate and hospital employment, jacking up prices & new WI lawsuit

Movement of physicians from independent practice to hospital and corporate employment accelerated during COVID. By January 1st of this year, 74% of physicians in the Northeast were employed by hospitals or corporations according to a report by Avalere Health for the Physicians Advocacy Institute.  Half (52%) of Northeastern physicians work for hospitals and 22% for…

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How CT can save $162 million in healthcare waste

An analysis of Connecticut’s commercial insurance markets finds we spent $9.45 per person per month on wasteful low-value care in 2019, according to a new report by VBID Health. Of the $162 million total, $24.5 million was from patient out-of-pocket costs. Low-value care provides no or minimal benefit to patients and is an important driver…

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