By Rosana Garcia
Now that we’re further into the Connecticut legislative session, we know which bills have made it out of Public Health and Insurance and Real Estate Committees and may move to be voted on in the House or Senate.
Here is a list of the bills that have been voted out of committee and that we testified on:
SB 370 aims to strengthen rules on insurer provider lists, making sure that insurers provide their consumers with up-to-date information about the providers in their network.
It also seeks to make pregnancy a qualifying event for health insurance special enrollment periods. This bill was originally voted down in the Insurance and Real Estate Committee. In a rare turn of events, the bill was petitioned out of committee, which is allowable under the Assembly’s Joint Rule 19.
SB 433 focuses on ensuring consumers have access to providers in their network without having to travel too far or wait months for an appointment. It also addresses tiered networks and puts in place some important consumer protections.
This bill was submitted by the Department of Insurance Commissioner Katharine Wade, and is based on a model act from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Claire McAndrew of Families USA was one of the consumer advocates that worked on the bill – click here and here to read her blogs about it.
HB 5451 makes changes to the Office of Health Care Access statutes, and was submitted by the Department of Public Health. What is most promising about this bill is the expansion of reporting required by health care facilities.
A study of how health care is used in the state would now have to include more than just in-patient care use, as well as look more closely at areas where populations may be under-served or have limited access to services.
HB 5454 concerns expanding financing options for independent hospitals, via CHEFA (Connecticut Health and Education Facilities Authority). It is important that independent community hospitals have alternatives to consolidation, mergers, acquisitions and conversions to for-profit facilities.
We’ll continue to keep you posted on bills important to health care as the session continues.