New health plan will not extend state-wide this session

A program that removes health insurance companies from managing the care of low-income patients likely won’t be expanded statewide this year as proponents had hoped.

Instead, the House voted to expand Husky Primary Care only to Putnam and Torrington.

HUSKY Primary Care gives children and some adults in low-income families the option to have their doctors manage their heath care, from approving treatment by specialists to arranging tests, without the involvement of an insurance company. The option currently is available for HUSKY patients whose doctors’ offices are in Greater Hartford, New Haven, Windham and parts of Waterbury.

The bill originally would have expanded the plan state-wide, but an amendment adopted unanimously by the House strips back the proposal to just adding Putnam and Torrington.

Proponents of expanding the plan state-wide say it would improve health care and could save the state money.

Since the pilot program launched two years ago, 200 doctors have signed up their patients use the plan.

The bill, as amended, now heads the Senate for final passage.