Connecticut Bill To Expand State Employee Health Insurance Pool

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ConnecticutGov. Jodi Rell (R) on Monday released letters from two insurance companies thatraised concerns about the cost of legislation that would allow workers at smallbusinesses, municipalities and not-for-profit groups to join the state employeehealth insurance pool, the HartfordCourantreports.

In one of the letters, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield officials wrote thatif the pool is expanded, the insurer would be forced to increase premium ratesfor state employees by 4%, or by more than $24 million, in the fiscal year thatbegins July 1. Anthem officials wrote that the bill would expand health carecoverage to a larger group of people, which represents "a material changeto the underlying assumptions of the bid" that would allow the company torecalculate its bid. Anthem President David Fusco said the company would haveto "rescind the second- and third-year rate caps for 2009 and 2010"that the state and company had agreed to under a three-year bid to insure stateemployees.

In a separate letter, ConnectiCare called on Rell to veto the bill.Stephen Jewett, a spokesperson for ConnectiCare, said, "We believe thebill could damage competition in the current private market, put an unfundedburden upon the state and prevent municipalities from having the flexibility tocontrol their employees' health costs." Rell did not say she would vetothe bill, but she said, "I have major concerns" about the measure(Keating, Hartford Courant, 5/20).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health PolicyReport is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation.

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