Connecticut health insurance mandates could make coverage expensive through exchange
In Connecticut, the state’s health insurance exchange, called Access Health CT, is set to begin open enrollment on October 1 of this year, with coverage to go into effect on January 1, 2014. Like other health insurance exchanges throughout the country, Connecticut’s system has been the subject of some controversy, but not for the reason that similar programs have been scrutinized. Where much of the criticism concerning health insurance exchanges has to do with the cost and ability for these programs to provide coverage, Access Health CT is facing concerns regarding the state’s multitude of health insurance mandates.
Mandates put financial strain on company and consumer alike
In Connecticut, insurers are required to provide coverage for a wide range of medical issues, including infertility treatment and services associated with autism spectrum disorder. These mandates have long been a problematic issue for some insurers, but they have also been something of a strain for consumers as well. These mandates require insurers to provide coverage for costly medical care, and these costs generally trickle down to policyholders, who end up paying more for their coverage than is considered average.
New mandates mean higher rates
Access Health CT is not immune to the state’s health insurance mandates. This means that the policies being offered through the exchange must adhere to the state’s regulations, which may mean that these policies will be somewhat expensive. Connecticut officials aim for the exchange to have affordability as its top priority when it comes to health insurance policies, but the mandates on coverage make this a tricky proposition considering the fact that new mandates are being introduced in the state regularly. With every new mandate comes an increase in health insurance premiums.
Affordable options are sparse
Some Connecticut officials claim that the availability of affordable options is sparse for the state. The state’s Department of Insurance is currently reviewing eight insurance plans that have been submitted by the state’s largest insurers. All of the plans adhere to the state’s health insurance mandates, which means they are somewhat more expensive than officials would prefer. State officials have yet to find any suitable alternatives, however, due to the fact that the insurers providing these plans represent approximately 80% of the state’s market.