Healthcare Bill With Potential Impact on Small Business Costs Sent to Governor
Legislation codifying into state law 10 health services covered under the federal Affordable Care Act awaits the governor’s signature after passage in both the House and Senate.
The Senate approved HB 5210 May 7 on a 34-2 vote. That followed an April 26 vote in the House, where lawmakers approved it by a 114-32 margin.
Introduced by Rep. Sean Scanlon (D-Guilford), the bill codifies the following services: ambulatory patient services, prescription drugs, emergency care, mental health services, hospitalization, rehabilitative services, preventive and wellness services, laboratory services, pediatric care, and maternity and newborn care.
But what’s unclear is whether the bill will cause insurance rates to climb at businesses with health insurance policies that don’t cover all 10 of those categories.
It could increase healthcare costs for those companies—typically small businesses—and their employees.
Scanlon said the bill ensures that Connecticut residents retain those healthcare services despite efforts in Washington to repeal the ACA.
A fiscal note attached to the bill indicates that it may increase costs for municipalities with employee health plans that don’t cover all 10 categories.
Scanlon argued that it won’t affect premium rates because the benefits codified in the bill are already covered by insurance plans.
But since the bill is likely to increase premium costs for municipalities, it could increase costs for some businesses as well.
The law applies only to plans that are fully insured. These are typically carried by smaller employers that can’t afford to self-insure.
It does not apply to self-insured plans like those used by the state and other large employers, as those plans operate under federal—not state—law.
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