The two remaining insurers on Connecticut’s health insurance exchange will have an extra week – until Sept. 15 – to decide whether to continue selling plans through the exchange’s individual marketplace next year.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed a consumer-protection bill into law Monday, but not before penning an unusual letter reviving his criticism of how the law’s influential sponsors, the top Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate, rebuffed his insurance commissioner’s efforts to shape a bipartisan measure intended to cut the cost of prescription drugs.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy delivered a public rebuke Wednesday evening to the Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate, accusing them of misrepresenting his insurance commissioner’s position on a consumer-protection bill and taking an “unnecessarily antagonistic approach toward Connecticut’s insurance industry.”
But the governor also said he would work with Congress to make improvements to the existing health care system, and Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade recommended several areas for improving the federal health law.
The state’s ethics board Monday ended its examination of whether Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade has a conflict disqualifying her from reviewing the acquisition of Cigna by Anthem, saying Wade’s voluntary recusal last week makes the question moot.
A lawyer for Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade told state ethics officials Thursday that the commissioner will recuse herself from any role in approving the acquisition of Cigna by Anthem, a deal now jeopardized by a federal antitrust lawsuit.
After proposing sharp rate increases for next year’s health insurance plans for individuals and small groups, a trio of insurers faced a barrage of criticism from elected officials and the public during a series of hearings Wednesday and Thursday.
Senate Republicans asked the state Freedom of Information Commission on Friday to penalize Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade, saying she and her department withheld documents related to the pending merger of Anthem and Cigna that another agency deemed to be public information.
Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade’s controversial refusal to recuse herself from ruling on the Anthem-Cigna insurance merger has provoked a reappraisal of ethics regulators, who heavily rely on the self-reporting of public officials, and an ethics code that may be clearer to lawyers than lovers of English.
Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo publicly urged Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade on Thursday to recuse herself from Connecticut’s review of the Anthem-Cigna merger, saying even a positive legal ruling from ethics officials would not overcome the appearance of a conflict of interest.
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.
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.
Saying that “all eyes will be on Connecticut,” critics of two pending mergers of major health insurers have asked the state’s insurance commissioner to take steps they say would increase transparency in the review of Anthem’s proposed acquisition of Cigna.
The Office of State Ethics is not calling for Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade to recuse herself from overseeing her agency’s review of Anthem’s proposal to buy Cigna, where Wade previously worked and her husband serves as an attorney. But Executive Director Carol Carson said the office has raised concerns.