Thursday, May 23, 2013
Our co-working space, The Grove, has moved around the corner. We are now in huge, beautiful, vintage architectural space at 760 Chapel Street in New Haven, across from Elm City Market. Until June 15, The Grove is hosting The Complete Picture, a show of art by young people in the juvenile justice system presented by the CT Juvenile Justice Alliance. The reception is Wednesday, May 29th from 5:30 to 7pm.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Yesterday ConnectiCare filed individual and small group 2014 rates for Connecticut’s health insurance exchange. ConnectiCare joins HealthyCT, the new nonprofit co-op, in participating in the exchange. ConnectiCare plans to charge average premiums of $397 per member per month for individuals and $716 pmpm for small groups. HealthyCT’s proposed rates average $427 pmpm for individuals and $445 for small groups. Rates will vary by customer based on age, residence, and the plan selected. Rates must still be approved by the insurance department. While the benefit plans will change next year and previous prices are not strictly comparable, in 2012 individual coverage for CT on eHealthInsurance.com averaged $207 pmpm. Policymakers have options to control premium increases but they must act soon to be effective.
Friday, May 17, 2013
The agenda and speakers list for the June 18th CT Health Intern Academy are now online. Free and open to anyone interested in learning more about health policy, the event will be June 18th, from 9:30 am to 2 pm at the Legislative Office Building. The agenda includes panels on Health Policy Trends, State & Congressional Advocacy, Health & the Media, Networks & Collaboration and a tour of the Capitol. Speakers include State Comptroller Kevin Lembo, along with small business, nonprofit, lobbying, insurer, broker, policy and fiscal analyst, provider, state legislative and Congressional staff, state agency, community organizer, reporter and social media experts. Lunch and parking are available, but registration is required. The Academy is made possible with support from the CT Health Foundation. For more information, visit www.cthealthinern.org.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
The 2013 CT Mission of Mercy free dental clinic will be at the Webster Bank Arena, 600 Main Street in Bridgeport Friday and Saturday, June 7 and 8. The clinic serves Connecticut’s uninsured and underserved residents who often have no other option for dental care. 1,605 volunteers delivered $1.3 million in donated care at last year’s clinic in Danbury. The clinic served 2,008 people from 168 communities.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
New data from CMS shows that prices charged by Connecticut hospitals for the same procedure vary widely, by as much as three fold. An analysis by C-HIT found that Yale-New Haven Hospital charges $85,902 for a cardiac pacemaker while Manchester Memorial charges $22,493 for the same procedure. Stamford Hospital, featured in a recent Time magazine article on extreme health care pricing, charges $25,493 to treat pneumonia while Charlotte Hungerford charges only $8,177. The data gives hospital charges, and the lower prices Medicare pays, for 100 common procedures. Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance plans pay less than charges. However uninsured patients are usually billed the higher charge price.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Connecticut health care thought leaders give our state a C on health reform again this winter; down from a C+ earlier this year. Connecticut maintained our C+ for effort in this survey. Among issue areas only Medicaid improved again. Connecticut lost ground on the health insurance exchange, health insurance market reform, and public education. The overwhelming suggestions to improve progress are to engage consumers in policymaking (on every survey in the last year), improve the policymaking process, especially transparency, work on affordability and improve the CT Health Insurance Exchange. The Thoughtleader survey is part of the CT Health Policy Project’s Health Reform Dashboard.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Insurance premiums for HealthyCT, the new nonprofit health insurer co-op, have been posted on the insurance dept.’s website. HealthyCT is the only insurer that has submitted rate proposals for 2014 so far, despite an April 30th due date. Average monthly premiums for individuals will be $427/month and for small groups $445/month. While the benefit plans will change next year and previous prices are not strictly comparable, in 2010 individual premiums in CT averaged $306 per month. 2014 rates will vary by customer based on age, residence, and the plan selected; rates must still be approved by the insurance department. Policymakers have options to control premium increases but they must act soon to be effective.