Health care advocates say the measures will harm access to necessary treatment, particularly for people with disabilities.
With the rising cost of care a central issue this legislative session, lawmakers and Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration have each moved ahead with their own plans aimed at driving down prices.
During this election season, the CT Mirror convened groups of people from around the state to ask their opinions on key campaign issues and their perceptions of the appropriate role of government. A common theme emerged: health care — the cost, the disparities and the need for change.
Insurance companies that sell coverage through the state’s health insurance exchange next year will be allowed to cover fewer hospitals, doctors and prescription drugs under changes the exchange’s board approved Tuesday. Officials hope those changes could help offset rate increases caused by the increased price and use of medical care and prescription drugs.
Kevin Counihan used to run the health insurance exchanges that serve most of the United States. Now he’s a customer. He talked to The Mirror about efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act, why the health law has gotten more popular since Barack Obama left office, how to keep insurance companies from fleeing exchanges, and what can be done to make it easier to buy coverage.
In his job interview with legislators, Ted Doolittle described the nation’s health care system as the most complex in the world, in dire need of improvement and burdening individuals with costs that are too high.
Patients can face significantly higher bills if they receive care from doctors who don’t take their insurance, and a study suggests that could happen in nearly one in four ER visits.
Updated at 11:55 a.m.
The contract dispute pits Connecticut’s largest insurer against a major group of clinicians, and could affect thousands of patients.
After spending six months studying new ways to control ever-growing health care costs, a state-hired consulting firm presented a plan to Connecticut’s Health Care Cabinet Tuesday that calls for the largest reorganization and consolidation of health-related state agencies in two decades.
Confused by your medical bills? Surveys say you’re not alone, and now a top federal health official wants to do something about it.
The amount paid for a cesarean childbirth and newborn care in the hospital, for example, averaged $20,107 in Connecticut – 26 percent above the national average of $15,917, according to data based on claims paid by three private insurance companies. But costs also ranged within the state, averaging $20,773 in the Bridgeport area, $19,715 in the Hartford region, and $18,915 in and around New Haven.
Zack Cooper recently co-authored a high-profile paper linking higher hospital prices to market power. He advocates for strong antitrust enforcement when it comes to health care consolidation. But when his father was very sick, Cooper told state policymakers, he wanted him to go to a large medical center that treated a high volume of patients with the same condition. “There’s this tension,” he said.
What began with a plan to replace an aging piece of medical equipment has turned into a dispute over the delivery of cancer care along Connecticut’s affluent shoreline. And at a time when policymakers have expressed worries about preserving competition in the state’s fast-consolidating health care market, one side has suggested the case highlights questions about competition – and the way state regulation can limit it.
As part of a major new health care law, a state board has until December to recommend ways to address rising health care costs and market changes.
Lisa Freeman recently tried an experiment: Before having a medical diagnostic test, she tried to figure out what it would cost. “It took no less than five phone calls, and I still never got to the end of the thing,” she said. A major transparency law intended to change that is taking effect this year. How will it work in practice? Health care providers say it might be bumpy at first.