CT policymakers have completed 28.3% of the tasks necessary for health reform, up slightly from November. Most tasks on the Progress Meter list are due in just a month. Medicaid accounted for the forward progress in again this month, largely due to strong quality and care management performance reports. Once again, deep concerns about payment reform in the SIM process and the insurance exchange’s premium increases are holding Connecticut back. The Progress Meter is part of the CT Health Reform Dashboard.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Monday, December 2, 2013
Test your knowledge of CT health insurer performance. Take the December CT Health Policy Webquiz.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
CT Mirror has created a set of tools to guide the confused through Obamacare’s maze. Obamacare Maitre d’ steps you through the basics, simple questions about CT’s health insurance exchange, and the Medicaid/HUSKY program. Helpful articles include Obama and you – an explainer, What you need to know (overview) – and resources, and 6 things to know when buying health insurance.
Monday, November 25, 2013
CT’s SIM draft plan to reform health care for at least 80% of state residents in five years is out for public comment. SIM is the state’s newest plan to radically reform health care delivery and payment across the entire state. Concerns raised in the CT Health Policy Project’s comments include potential incentives in the proposed payment system to stint on necessary, appropriate care. Advocates have urged the committee not to reward stinting -- to include monitoring for inappropriate under-treatment and deny shared savings payments that are generated by denying needed care. The comments also outline concerns about the process, including the exclusion of critical stakeholders from decision-making, about the danger of reversing hard-won improvements in CT’s Medicaid program, and highlight leading examples of responsible reform from CT and other states.
This is the first opportunity for the public to comment on the SIM plan that is to be finalized by the end of next month. Early next year the state intends to apply for a follow up federal grant of about $50 million to implement the plan.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Average waits at CT hospital emergency departments vary from 82 minutes at Hartford Hospital to 14 minutes at Windom Hospital, according to a new analysis by the CT Health I-Team. CT’s average wait time is 30 minutes; the national average is 28 minutes. While CT hospitals are implementing quality improvements, experts expect wait times to increase with ACA coverage expansions starting in January, especially in Medicaid. From 2011 to 2012 ER visits in CT rose by 55,000.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
12,648 people have signed up for coverage through Access Health CT, our state health insurance exchange in the first month according to new enrollment numbers. About half (41%) have qualified for Medicaid. The other half (56%) enrolled in private insurance plans; more than half of those are choosing a silver plan. 62% have enrolled in an Anthem plan, 35% in ConnectiCare and only 2.4% in a HealthyCT offering. But the most interesting finding is that enrollees tend to be older, especially those enrolling in private insurance coverage. This is concerning because younger, healthier members are critical to sustaining an affordable pool. Enrollment in the Charter Oak Plan, set to close next month, never reached 15,000 because it attracted an older, less healthy membership, causing premiums to surge, pricing out healthier members, ending in a death spiral.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
CT Insurance Commissioner Leonardi stated in an interview yesterday that 9,000 policies were cancelled recently because they were not grandfathered under the Affordable Care Act. Plans that were in place in March 23, 2010 (when the Act passed) and haven’t changed benefits or consumer costs in significant ways but don’t meet some new ACA standards for coverage may be grandfathered – or allowed to continue in place. Plans that are newer or did change significantly but don’t meet new standards cannot be grandfathered – 9,000 of them in CT. 27,000 CT policies in total were cancelled recently, most for reasons other than new ACA standards. Plan cancellations are not new and happen every year. The state is still considering what can be done to help people with cancelled coverage and whether a special legislative session is needed.