Health Care

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Amid opioid crisis, substance abuse treatment programs cut

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On any given day, there are 400 people on the waiting list for the substance abuse treatment and detox programs paid for by the state Judicial Branch. The wait is about to get much longer – and not because of the spike in overdoses throughout the state, but because those programs are being slashed to help close the state's budget deficit. Continue Reading →

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Aetna-Humana, Anthem-Cigna facing different merger obstacles

Aetna headquarters in Hartford

WASHINGTON – So far, Aetna appears to be clearing the regulatory and antitrust hurdles it faces to merge with Humana more easily, while Anthem's proposed marriage to Cigna has faced more troubles. Neither has yet cleared the hurdle of antitrust approval from the U.S. Justice Department. Continue Reading →

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Ethics panel to rule if Wade has conflict in Anthem-Cigna merger

The Citizens Ethics Advisory Board

Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade's first contact with state ethics officials was to inform them in September why she intended to act on the merger of Anthem and Cigna, not to seek a ruling on whether they saw a potential conflict due to her family's long association with Cigna. Now, while she's deep in the review of a merger that could transform the health insurance industry, Wade is going to get the legally binding ethics opinion that she and the administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy never saw the need to request. Continue Reading →

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Sharkey calls for Wade’s recusal, but Malloy sees no conflict

This is a picture of Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade.

House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey became the first Democratic leader Friday to call on Insurance Commissioner Katharine Wade to recuse herself from ruling on Anthem’s merger with Bloomfield-based Cigna, the commissioner’s last private-sector employer before joining the administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. The governor said he sees no conflict. Continue Reading →

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Major health insurers seek sharply higher rates in Connecticut

The Connecticut Insurance Department

Some of Connecticut’s major health insurers are seeking rate increases far beyond medical inflation, including an average increase of 26.8 percent for the individual plans offered by the state’s biggest insurer, Anthem Health Plans, according to requests released Monday. The filings come as the insurance industry, state Insurance Commissioner Katharine Wade and her department are under intense scrutiny over proposed mergers. Continue Reading →

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Consumer group demands Wade recuse herself on Cigna merger

Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade.

WASHINGTON — A consumer group says Gov. Dannel Malloy should avoid “going back to the days of Corrupticut” and replace Insurance Commissioner Katharine Wade as the key state regulator on a proposed mega-merger between Anthem and Cigna insurance companies. Continue Reading →

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Opioid epidemic fueling hospitalizations, hospital costs

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Every day, headlines detail the casualties of the nation’s surge in heroin and prescription painkiller abuse: the funerals, the broken families and the patients cycling in and out of treatment. Now, a new study sheds light on another repercussion — how this public health problem is adding to the nation’s ballooning health care costs and who’s shouldering that burden. Continue Reading →

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Murphy presses for action on mental health bill despite obstacles

Cassidy Murphy thumbnail

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chris Murphy and Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana have bipartisan support for a bill that would reform the nation’s mental health system and are pressing for Senate action on the legislation. But they are facing hurdles common to those who push for change on Capitol Hill. Continue Reading →

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