Earlier this month, the Connecticut Insurance Legislation passed a bill that would require the state to host a public symposium regarding rate proposals from the state’s health insurers.
State residents would be able to attend the gathering and listen to insurer’s outline their plans for rate increases or decreases as well as ask questions regarding these issues. The symposium would have been mandatory before regulators could approve or reject proposals, but Governor Dannel Malloy vetoed the measure as it came to his desk late last week.
In a message that Malloy wrote as an accompaniment to the veto, the Governor noted that the mandate would impose yet more obstacles for the state’s insurers and may inspire them to pull out of the state in search for more lenient markets. In accordance with the new federal health care law, the federal government will be forced to intervene in the regulatory process if states do not have an adequate rate review system. Supporters of the bill often relied on this provision to push the legislation, but the Department of Health and Human Services notes that such mandatory hearings are not likely to improve upon the review process.
The Connecticut State Medical Society was among the advocacy groups supporting the bill. According to the group’s vice president, Matthew Katz, the fact that the bill floundered on the desk of the Governor marks a missed opportunity for Connecticut to be a leader in incorporating citizens into the rate review process.