A series of bills mandating expanded healthcare coverage could significantly increase costs for Connecticut small businesses and their employees.

CBIA's Michelle Rakebrand told the legislature's Insurance and Real Estate Committee Feb. 7 rising healthcare costs remain one of the main concerns for Connecticut employers, particularly small businesses.

"With each new requirement to cover or expand additional services or devices, the cost of health insurance increases, especially to small employers, who are not required to offer health insurance but choose to do so," Rakebrand told the committee.

Rakebrand urged committee members to do a cost-benefit analysis of proposed healthcare mandates as part of their due diligence process, rejecting mandates where costs outweigh benefits.

She told committee members the mandates outlined in SB 15, SB 33, HB 5211, HB 5213, HB 5518, and HB 5724 would increase healthcare costs for small businesses and their employees.

Competitive Benefits

Rakebrand said many small businesses with less than 50 employees choose to provide health benefits to workers, although they are not required to do so.

"Small businesses not only need to compete for talent by offering competitive benefits, they also understand the value of a healthy workforce," she said.

Rising healthcare costs remain one of the main concerns for Connecticut employers, particularly small businesses.
"However, federal and state mandates make it increasingly difficult for small businesses and their employees to afford insurance.

“That's why we are asking the legislature, as we have done in the past, to strongly consider weighing the value of the proposed benefit against the cost of the measure before legislating additional healthcare mandates."

Mandate Reviews

Rakebrand told the committee mandate reviews should include:

  • The portion of the population that would use the benefit
  • Whether the benefit is currently available and, if so, the extent of availability
  • The level of public demand for the benefit
  • The impact it would have on the availability of other benefits
  • The cost to carriers and employers
  • The mandate's overall social implication

Rakebrand cited several other proposed Senate bills, including SB 29, SB 36, SB 37, SB 38, and SB 40, that could also increase healthcare costs by unnecessarily adding to the administrative burden of insurance carriers.

"CBIA is opposed to any legislation that proposes a change in process on the part of the health plans that would require the carriers to incur further costs, which would be passed on to employers through cost sharing," she said.

For more information, contact CBIA's Michelle Rakebrand (860.244.1921) | @MRakebrand