Effort Curbing Health Mandate Costs Fails; New Mandates Advance

Issues & Policies

A bill requiring a cost-benefit analysis of proposed healthcare insurance mandates has failed to advance out of a legislative committee.
The legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee failed to act on SB 201 before its March 22 deadline.
CBIA supported the bill on behalf of its many members because the analysis would determine the true cost of state mandated insurance requirements to consumers and employers who provide those benefits.
It was also designed to ensure that before lawmakers voted, they fully understood the overall cost and associated benefits of any proposed health insurance mandate.
CBIA’s John Blair testified in favor of the bill at a recent hearing, telling lawmakers that businesses understand the importance of a healthy, productive workforce.
“Businesses depend on it,” Blair said. “It’s why we’re asking the legislature to show restraint when considering additional measures that will cost Connecticut’s struggling employers.”

Review Measure Included in Separate Bill

While SB 201 failed, the issue is not completely dead.
The committee amended HB 5039 to include a similar mandate review provision before sending the bill to the state House.
This bill, however, contains other provisions that CBIA opposes. We will monitor this bill.

The legislature must show restraint when considering additional mandates that will cost Connecticut's struggling employers.

Other bills that died in committee include:

  • SB 211: Requires that health carriers bear the burden of proving that certain healthcare services under adverse determination or utilization review are not medically necessary. CBIA opposed this bill.
  • SB 212: Requires that certain individual and group health insurance policies cover knee aspirations for persons diagnosed with osteoarthritis. CBIA opposed this bill, as it contains the very kind of mandate that SB 201 would have reviewed.

Costly Healthcare Mandates Approved

The committee approved a number of potentially costl  healthcare mandates, including SB 380, which requires coverage for prescription drugs while denials are under appeal.
CBIA opposes this measure because it could lead to higher insurance rates with no benefit to businesses, their employees, or families.
The committee also passed SB 208, which mandates health insurance policies cover prescription medicines administered intravenously "on a basis no less favorable than orally administered drugs." CBIA opposes this costly mandate.
SB 209 advanced out of committee and is headed to the state Senate. It decreases the time frame for certain adverse determination review requests from 72 to 48 hours.
The insurer is typically delayed in making a determination while awaiting records from the insured or their doctor.
Shortening the time allowed for the insurer to act could have the reverse effect and increase denials due to a lack of information from any third party, including the doctor. CBIA opposes this bill.
Lastly, the committee approved HB 5208, which expands the definition of mammograms to include breast tomosynthesis, an advance mammogram that's not currently a mandated health benefit.
CBIA opposes this new mandated benefit, absent a cost-benefit review.

For more information, contact CBIA's John Blair (860.280.4059).


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