Sen. Hwang: CT Republican plan can save families $7,000 per year on premiums

Sen. Hwang: CT Republican plan can save families $7,000 per year on premiums

(CT Inside Investigator)

Connecticut residents saw their annual spending for healthcare rise more than 6 percent between 2019 and 2021, far surpassing the state’s goal of limiting healthcare cost increases to 3.4 percent, according to the first state healthcare benchmark report.

Gov. Ned Lamont issued an executive order to produce the report in 2020, followed by legislation making the report a matter of state statute in 2022. The Connecticut Healthcare Cost Growth Benchmark measures the overall state, the health insurance market, individual insurance carriers and provider entities.

The results showed that Connecticut’s healthcare costs increased by more than other states like Massachusetts and Rhode Island which also benchmark for healthcare costs and was largely driven by commercial health insurance spending, which grew by 18.8 percent in 2021.

Although overall healthcare spending decreased in 2020 during the pandemic, when many hospitals and healthcare facilities decreased normal operations and elective procedures to make room for COVID patients, 2021 saw a rebound in spending.

Lamont said the report highlights the need for the legislature to pass his proposed reforms including eliminating hospital facility fees charged a free-standing offices and clinics, joining multi-state purchasing agreements for prescription drugs, and outlawing “anti-competitive contracting practices” such as health care plans steering patients toward certain facilities and providers.

The benchmarking executive order and subsequent legislation took a page from Massachusetts and Connecticut Republicans who had been pushing for benchmarking as a way to lower costs.

Senators Kevin Kelly, R-Stratford, and Tony Hwang, R-Fairfield, also said the report “underscores the need to enact legislative reforms” and pushed their health care plan.

The Republicans’ A Better Way to Affordable Health Care plan includes benchmarking all healthcare cost drivers, making hospital billing transparent, implementing a reinsurance program they say could save $7,000 per year on premiums and allow small businesses to join association health plans, a proposal that was recently passed out of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee following a long debate with Sen. Matthew Lesser, D-Middletown.

“Family budgets are breaking and people are living paycheck to paycheck as they have difficulty making hard choices on things like health insurance,” Kelly and Hwang said in a press release. “Our plan achieves these affordability goals through transparency, through competition, and by enabling the marketplace to work better for the consumer and our small businesses.”

The post Sen. Hwang: CT Republican plan can save families $7,000 per year on premiums appeared first on Connecticut Senate Republicans.

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