New Connecticut Health Insurance Commissioner Thomas Leonardi has announced the completion of website modifications designed to keep consumers informed of rate filings. The changes will allow policyholders to receive e-alerts about rate filings and to leave comments online. The site also provides detail on: The type of policy (individual, small group, etc.), the number of policyholders potentially affected, date of initial request, carrier reasons for rate hike requests, final determinations and basis for approval or rejection, and effective dates.
In other news, Connecticut cardiologists have withdrawn their support for the proposed SustiNet bill. The SustiNet program would create a public option that would compete with private health insurance plans. In return for following new SustiNet guidelines for procedures and ordering fewer tests, a key provision of the plan would have protected doctors from malpractice suits if the outcome of a case was not favorable for the patient. However, with backing from the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association, that provision was removed from the bill two weeks ago. Without the participation of cardiologists in the SustiNet program, cutting medical costs could be more difficult. Also, the Joint Committee on Insurance and Real Estate has approved legislation prohibiting managed care organizations and preferred provider networks from including most favored nation clauses in contracts with health providers and hospitals. If enacted, the bill would take effect October 1. In addition, the long-term disability bill was turned into a study. If passed in its new form, the bill would direct the Program Review Committee to study the issue and the committee will report back by the end of the year.