ICYMI: Analysis Warns The State Government Option Could Threaten Access To Care In Communities Across Connecticut
HARTFORD, Conn. – In case you missed it, a new analysis finds that creating a state government-controlled health insurance system, also known as the state government option, could significantly reduce health care provider reimbursement rates, limiting the availability of critical health care services and threatening access to care in communities throughout Connecticut.
The Connecticut Partnership Plan, which is currently available to non-state public employees, is already in a precarious financial state, and it would serve as the basis for Connecticut’s state government option. The analysis, conducted by FTI Consulting for Connecticut’s Health Care Future, warns that a state government option could put Connecticut health care providers and hospitals at risk of financial distress, impacting the type and quality of care available to Connecticut residents.
- Nearly one-third of hospitals in Connecticut – from Fairfield to Tolland Counties – operate with negative margins.
- To offer the state government option at a lower cost, policymakers would likely need to raise revenues subsidized by taxpayer dollars, either in conjunction with or as an alternative to lower health care provider reimbursement rates.
- Lower provider reimbursement rates could mean fewer providers available to care for patients with public coverage, creating a two-tiered system in which privately insured patients have better access to care than those with public insurance.
- A report by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 56 percent of Connecticut’s uninsured population are already eligible for free or subsidized coverage through the state’s exchange, and an additional 13 percent are eligible for employer-sponsored coverage.
FTI Consulting’s analysis comes as Connecticut residents now benefit from “additional subsidies that will help make coverage more affordable for many. The subsidies are backed by funding included in President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan [ARPA]… The average savings per household will be $116.05 per month, or $1,392.57 per year … More than half of households currently in a qualified health plan will pay under $16 per month for their health insurance,” the CT Mirror reports.
A recent analysis by the Brookings Institution also highlights the significant resources now available for Connecticut residents to obtain affordable health coverage under ARPA and concludes that elected leaders in Hartford should take “caution against making lasting changes” to the state’s health care policies “until matters are clearer.”