Insurance Committee passes bills prohibiting anti-competitive health system practices

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This morning, the Insurance and Real Estate Committee approved two bills that  prohibit huge healthcare systems from using their monopoly power to jack up prices and insurance premiums. The Committee’s bill passed unanimously; the Governor’s bill that also includes an out-of-network price cap passed overwhelmingly. The Committee passed a similar bill last year. It passed the Senate overwhelmingly but died on the House calendar.

In February, the Committee heard mainly voices supporting the bill including the CT Health Policy Project, in public hearing testimony. Two lawsuits have been filed against Hartford Healthcare for anti-competitive behavior.

One of the main drivers of Connecticut’s rising healthcare costs is consolidation in the healthcare market, making health coverage increasingly unaffordable for consumers, employers, and businesses. The consolidation of hospitals and providers into large health systems in Connecticut has stifled competition, allowing prices to rise unchecked. Large health systems use anti-competitive contract clauses to demand higher prices without better quality.

Other states have passed these provisions and are benefitting from lower premiums that support value-based health plans and improve the quality of care.