The General Assembly's Insurance Committee heard four new health benefit mandates (SB 35, SB 36, SB 37, SB 38) in its first public hearing of the 2016 session.

New mandates drive up healthcare bills not only for smaller employers but also for the state.

A new health benefit mandate means that carriers are required to make their plans even richer, which equates to higher premiums.

In addition, the state must pick up the tab for any mandates not already included in the Affordable Care Act’s Essential Health Benefits package.

The EHB was set by the state a few years ago and these new proposals are not included.

However, a number of efforts are underway to address the cost of healthcare in Connecticut.

The Cost Containment Committee, led by the Healthcare Cabinet, is currently looking into best practices to try to control costs.

What’s more, the State Innovation Model is looking at Value Based Plan Designs.

With these panels seeking to address the high cost of healthcare, the state should await the outcomes of those efforts before adopting even more mandates.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Jennifer Herz (860.970.4404) | @CBIAjherz