Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Malloy Vetoes Consumer Protections

Here in Connecticut, Governor Malloy vetoed legislation that would have allowed consumers to appear at rate hearings to oppose health insurance premium increases at the request of either the Attorney General or the Healthcare Advocate. The Governor's reasons are set forth in a long letter that gets the facts and the reasoning wrong. You can read it here.

My response:

I am very disappointed at the Governor's veto. I disagree with his statement that the Insurance Department regularly rejects rates that are excessive; I know of only two instances in the past five years or so when a health insurance rate was rejected, and both times, it was due to the involvement of the Attorney General and Healthcare Advocate. I do not believe that we can get a grip on escalating health insurance premiums in Connecticut without public hearings. The Governor generally favors transparency; however, he has just ensured that health insurers in Connecticut -- and, indeed, the workings of his own Insurance Department -- will remain shrouded in secrecy. There was nothing in the legislation that conflicted with any state's ability to regulate rates. Indeed, the federal regulations are very clear that HHS cannot take action if it believes rates are excessive. Only states can do so. It seems to me that the $1 million grant the State received from HHS to beef up its rate review process should have resulted in more than just having rate filings posted on the Insurance Department's website, which is all that has been done. Other states have rigorous rate review and they have not driven companies out of their health insurance markets. In short, I disagree with the facts as stated by the Governor, and with all due respect, I believe this decision is not only wrong, but quite contrary to the interests of Connecticut's consumers.
I'm quoted briefly here. And I'm really bummed. Jennifer

No comments:

Post a Comment