Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange CEO Kevin Counihan Testifies on Affordability Issues to Connecticut General Assembly Insurance and Real Estate Committee
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"As you know, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was created to provide more transparency, more health plan choice, and more affordable coverage options for state residents and small businesses," said Counihan, "The issue of health insurance affordability is of primary importance to us, and our Board of Directors and staff have worked to both promote affordability and to conform to the complex requirements of the ACA."
Counihan discussed why price negotiation would be problematic during the initial stages of the ACA. He said, "Price negotiation in the start-up period of the ACA is impractical and risks diluting a key competitive advantage of the Exchange. We do not know the number of enrollees in the Exchange, what products they will buy, their health status and utilization level, their geographic or demographic mix, the stability of the enrollee population, or other details required to have a substantive negotiation with an insurance company."
The CEO went on to explain that rate negotiations without supporting facts and data would likely result in fewer insurance carriers participating in the Exchange. This would limit consumer choice and reduce market place competition, ultimately resulting in higher prices for consumers. The lack of negotiation will keep prices level and predictable while the ACA is in its implementation phases across the state.
Counihan also clarified what the term "active purchasing" really means. "Active purchasing is often used misleadingly as a proxy for rate negotiation. While rate negotiation in our initial launch phase may not be in the best interest of consumers or small business, we support continuing to be an active advocate for consumer-focused market reforms," said Counihan, "These include such changes as the elimination of medical underwriting, the elimination of exclusions for pre-existing conditions, the removal of price differentiation based on gender, benefit plan standardization based on metal tier, and providing consumers with health plan quality ratings."
In concluding, Counihan said, "I returned yesterday from a meeting with the CEOs of 17 other states implementing state-based insurance exchanges. I polled each of the 17 states to determine which states were prospectively negotiating rates with carriers, including
The Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange is committed to transparency and to giving the citizens of
"It was an absolute privilege to testify today on an issue of such importance," Counihan said, "We have the best interests of the citizens of
About the Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange
The Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange (the Exchange) was created by the
The Exchange will ensure that participating health plans available during
SOURCE Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange