Connecticut's employers continue to be concerned about the cost and quality of healthcare.

Their employees and their businesses depend on it, and it's why CBIA and its members are asking the state legislature to consider the cost to businesses when considering new healthcare proposals.

Healthcare mandates drive up costs
Connecticut's per capita healthcare spending is one of the highest in the region and well above the national average.

"Legislation that includes new mandates, assessments, or fees on the health insurance industry will only increase premiums," CBIA's John Blair testified Feb. 27 before the legislature's Insurance and Real Estate Committee.

Premium hikes hurt workers and business owners because employers contribute to their employees' healthcare, and the increases make it harder for businesses to continue making those contributions, Blair said.

"Our members understand the value of quality healthcare in maintaining a healthy and productive workforce—in fact, their businesses depend on it," he said.

"It's why we're asking the legislature to show restraint when considering additional measures that will cost Connecticut's struggling employers."

Cost-Benefit Analysis Needed

Often, well-intentioned legislators are persuaded through what can be very heart-wrenching arguments in favor of adding to the number of existing healthcare benefit mandates.

To be clear, some mandates make sense, but those decisions are better informed through a cost-benefit analysis.

"These decisions should be based on information, not speculation," Blair noted.

"Without data to show the long-term cost-benefit of a particular service or procedure, it is not possible to determine if the benefit will outweigh the increased cost."

SB 1 ensures lawmakers fully understand the overall cost and associated benefits of any proposed health benefit mandate.
Blair testified in support of SB 201, which creates a benefit review program within the state Insurance Department for evaluating legislation mandating healthcare benefits.

The bill changes how the General Assembly enacts new health mandates by empowering the legislature's Insurance Committee to require the state insurance commissioner to review up to five mandated health benefits and report back the following year.

Then, after January 1, 2019, the bill prohibits the General Assembly from establishing a new mandated health benefit without first receiving a cost-benefit analysis and holding an informational hearing, or unless the mandate is approved by a two-third's vote of the committee.

"We endorse this measure because it contains a complete study around the cost-benefit analysis of any new mandates," Blair testified.

"Further, it will ensure that before lawmakers vote, they will fully understand the overall cost and associated benefits of any newly proposed mandated health benefits."

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