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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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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Mental health workforce swamped by need, what needs to happen

A few recent reports have raised alarms about whether our healthy system’s mental health capacity can meet the need, and what we can do about it. The need is great. A mid-September Household Pulse Census survey found that 361,729 Connecticut residents reported feeling anxiety nearly every day and 219,164 reported depressive thoughts nearly every day.…

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Best kept secret: You now have free access to all your medical records

As of last Thursday, under new federal rules, healthcare organizations must give patients timely access to all their medical records in digital format without cost. This reverses the usual practice that only gave patients costly access to just some of their data, while data brokers profited by selling deidentified data and analysis to drug companies,…

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Number of uninsured CT residents continues down despite COVID

Download the report The latest numbers from the US Census on US health coverage last year find that there were 184,000 uninsured Connecticut residents (5.2%) in 2021, down 23,000 from 2019 (at 5.9%). Both years were far below 2013, before implementation of the Affordable Care Act, when 333,000 or 9.4% of state residents were uninsured.…

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Primary care spending boost and capitation didn’t work in private plans either

The big idea circulating in some CT health policy circles to control the costs of healthcare is to boost primary care with tons of money and capitate provider payments. Primary care is regular health care for prevention, like check-ups, and common health problems. A new study finds that the idea failed in private insurance, as…

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Op-Ed: Governor’s Healthcare Record Misses Opportunities

Last week, the Governor and his administration held a press conference nominally to promote their efforts to lower healthcare costs, but mostly for damage control. There’s been understandable criticism of the state insurance department’s decision to trim the unjustified insurer rate increase requests for next year from 20% to 13%. Insurers have been very profitable…

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OP-ED: Be careful in making changes when the glass is half full

There is good news on Connecticut health spending – and we can use it. Analysis of new data has found, not surprisingly, that Connecticut residents spend a lot on healthcare. But the good news is that our average annual rate of growth, at 1.8%, was the ninth lowest among states from 2013 to 2019. We…

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Good news on CT healthcare costs

New data from researchers at the University of Washington on state per person healthcare spending finds that between 2013 and 2019, Connecticut’s costs grew at the ninth lowest level among states. We dropped from seventh highest in the US in 2014 to eleventh in 2019. Our growth rate was lower than nearby comparator states and…

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