The legislature’s Insurance Committee has kicked off the 2015 session with a long list of bills to discuss, many of which are still in the initial stages and lack details.
Similar to previous years, a number of new health benefits mandates are on the agenda.
Health benefit mandates are procedures and services that the state requires insurance companies cover in their plans. Connecticut already has many more mandates than most states and adding more impacts premium.
In addition, a number of prescription drug bills are up for review including SB 21 and SB 24. SB 21 requires coverage for abuse-deterrent opioids—that is, drugs commonly used to deal with pain--on the same basis as non-abuse deterrent versions.
And, SB 24 deals with prescription drug coverage as well as disclosure requirements for health insurance carriers.
Another hot topic this year will be efforts to repeal the state’s tax to help fund the State Innovation Model (SIM), a program meant to aid the healthcare payment and service delivery systems
Connecticut just received $45 million in federal aid to help fund SIM.
This good news means the state no longer should impose this hidden tax on employers to fund SIM that’s also increasing the cost of all workers’ compensation, product liability, and health insurance policies.
CBIA is supportive of value-based care, but this tax is a problem because while SIM is designed to improve healthcare, the state tax is harmful by making insurance less affordable in the state.
Employers and their employees are already facing expensive health plans and additional state taxes only make it worse.