Connecticut Health Insurance Programs Should Be Rebidded
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D) on Monday recommended that the state Department of Social Services rebid contracts with managed care organizations for HUSKY and the Charter Oak health plan, but Gov. Jodi Rell (R) said that rebidding is not necessary, the New Haven Register reports (O'Leary, New Haven Register, 11/18). Rell on Friday overturned a plan that required physicians and hospitals participating in HUSKY for children to join the new Charter Oak health plan for uninsured adults.
Democrats in the General Assembly, activists for the uninsured and the majority of the state's congressional delegation were concerned that linking the two programs would put health care services for children at risk because of an inadequate network of health care providers. Physicians and hospitals have been slow to join Charter Oak because of concerns over reimbursement rates (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 11/18).
According to Blumenthal, now that the two programs are delinked, the best way to ensure there is no breach of current contracts is to rebid them. Blumenthal said rebidding the programs could open the process to more people, provide more choices for state residents and possibly save the state money. Blumenthal, state health care advocate Kevin Lembo and state child advocate Jeanne Milstein recommended that the insurers stop enrolling people in the programs until contracts are rebid.
Rell said that because the insurers are still required to build their provider networks for Charter Oak, the contracts do not have to be rebid. She said that insurers "will now continue to market both HUSKY and Charter Oak and the only difference is they don't have to do them simultaneously" (New Haven Register, 11/18).
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.