Connecticut Details State Health Insurance Expansion Program

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut on Tuesday unveiled a proposal for a new state health care program intended to expand insurance coverage to the state's estimated 300,000 uninsured residents and cover up to 98% of all state residents by 2014, the Hartford Courant reports.

The SustiNet program, which would begin enrolling residents in 2011, would expand the state's employee health insurance pool to include residents who already are enrolled in the state's Medicaid and HUSKY health programs.


Under the program, the state employees' health plan would be made available to all uninsured individuals, not-for-profit groups, municipalities and small employers. The program would automatically enroll members unless they opt out. Large and mid-sized companies with payrolls exceeding $318,000 that do not provide employer-sponsored insurance or minimum health coverage for their workers would be required to share the costs of the program in order to participate in it (Levin Becker, Hartford Courant, 1/13).

The program also calls for increased use of electronic health records and an emphasis on preventive care, management of chronic conditions and better coordination of care between physicians and other care providers (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 12/10/08). UHCF officials expect the program to save individuals and employers as much as $1.7 billion by 2014 because of the large size of the insurance pool. However, the state could be expected to spend an additional $950 million in 2014 when the program is projected to be fully implemented and operational, the Courant reports.

According to the Courant, UHCF's proposal is the first of many on the state and federal level that are expected to be released this year "in what many people say is the year for health reform." Connecticut lawmakers are expected to address health care reform in the current session, the Courant reports (Hartford Courant, 1/13).

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