Small businesses ask HHS for help with CT insurance exchange

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Small Business for a Healthy CT, a coalition of small companies, sent a letter yesterday asking HHS Secretary Sebelius to intervene with CT policymakers and reverse insurance industry domination of the CT Health Insurance Exchange Board. SBHCT is among at least a dozen advocacy groups that have voiced concerns about the Board membership which includes three insurance industry representatives but no voting consumer representatives and only one small business owner. The exchange is being created under national health reform with federal funding and is meant to be a consumer-friendly marketplace for coverage. It is expected that one in ten CT residents will get their coverage through the exchange. State law excludes anyone “affiliated” with insurance companies from Board membership and federal regulations state that consumer representatives should be a majority of voting members. The Board will decide which insurance plans are allowed to offer plans in the exchange, what benefits they have to offer, what standards they have to meet and how much they can charge consumers. Press reports include radio reports, CT News Junkie, the New Haven Register, Hartford Business Journal, Public News Service, CT Mirror, and The Hill.
Ellen Andrews