November 22, 2013/Health Care, Press Releases

CT Dems Blast Chairman Labriola’s Statement on Connecticut’s ACA Decision

HARTFORD, Conn.The Connecticut Democratic Party released the following statement in response to CT GOP Chairman Labriola’s statement on Connecticut’s ACA decision:

“Chairman Labriola appears to be living in an alternate reality, because back here on earth, the President’s plan does not even apply to Connecticut, where insurance companies have decided they would not continue those plans already slated for cancellation anyway,” said James Hallinan, CT Dems Spokesman. Governor Malloy laid out a clear plan to help Connecticut residents impacted by the fumbled federal roll out by extending the deadline for residents to sign up for plans with Access Health CT. While the Tea Party Republicans have no plan other than doing whatever they can to take away access to affordable health care, Governor Malloy is correcting a problem that was dumped on Connecticut’s lap from a federal failure.”

Background:

http://www.courant.com/business/hc-malloy-obamacare-insurance-1123-20131122,0,4337968.story

Malloy: State Won’t Allow Insurers To Offer Non-Compliant Plans Already Retired
By DAN HAAR, dhaar@courant.com
The Hartford Courant

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Friday that the state would not allow insurance companies to offer plans that had already been retired because they did not comply with the Affordable Care Act.

The decision was largely symbolic, because the insurance companies have already declined to offer the policies, and Malloy confirmed Friday that the companies said they had no plans to reopen them.

“The solution offered by the president a week ago doesn’t work in Connecticut,” Malloy said in an appearance Friday morning at the Connecticut Convention Center, where he was attending the Connecticut International Auto Show. “Even if they chose to continue these plans, the rates would have been much higher.”

Malloy joins governors in a number of other states, including Massachusetts, who have already reached the same conclusion.

In a written statement released by his office, Malloy also answered those who had called for a special session on the topic as if, he said, “there’s some magical way for us to fix the issue.”

“I say you’re wrong,” he said in the statement.

“First, this option would not affect a full 36 percent of individual policies that were carried over from before March 23, 2010. Second, of the remaining group that could be potentially impacted, insurers have told the state that they do not plan to continue those policies already slated to be replaced, even if given the option to do so.

“Finally, even if they changed their minds and decided to renew them, we know that rates on those plans would increase significantly this year, and again next year.”

Malloy said he asked Connecticut’s health exchange, Access Health CT, for a one-week extension of the deadline to sign up, to Dec. 22.

“We’re going to work with people, walk them through their options, and get them covered either on the exchange or with a private plan that makes sense for their needs. The simple truth is that Connecticut didn’t create this particular problem, but we aren’t going to pass the buck either.”

The state Republican Party chairman, Jerry Labriola Jr., criticized the Democratic governor after Friday’s announcement.

“Dan Malloy is refusing to accept responsibility,” Labriola said in a prepared release. “Instead, he’s doubling down on Obamacare and abandoning the Connecticut families who are being stripped of their healthcare coverage. By deciding to do nothing, Governor Malloy made sure that those with cancelled policies will face higher costs for less coverage.”

Keith Stover, a spokesman for the Connecticut Association of Health Plans, an industry lobbying group, hailed Malloy’s announcement. “We think staying the course is the right and wise decision,” he said.

Connecticut was already among the states that allowed insurers to continue non-compliant plans through 2014. The companies and customers that did continue those plans are unaffected by Friday’s announcement. Among the non-compliant plans in the individual policies market in Connecticut, plans covering 41,169 people were offered for renewal in 2014. Customers in plans covering 30,459 of those people accepted the offer.

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