Health Care

Here’s that Rx refill you didn’t order

By | Evan Preston
Director

Is your pharmacy refilling your prescription without your knowledge or approval, and billing your insurance company for the cost? 
If so, it’s the latest example of waste we shouldn't tolerate in our health care system.

News Release | ConnPIRG | Health Care

Supreme Court Upholds Health Reform

Today’s decision is good news for consumers. Insurance companies can’t go back to the days of dropping your coverage once you become ill, or denying coverage to sick children. And beginning in 2014, the days of insurers being able to deny anyone coverage for “pre-existing conditions” will be history. 

News Release | ConnPIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Nationwide Survey of New Health Exchanges Shows How to Lower Costs for Consumers

Many states are creating health exchanges to deliver better value for consumers, and other states should follow their lead, according to Making the Grade, a new report by consumer group ConnPIRG.  Health exchanges are competitive marketplaces that can empower individuals and small businesses with better, more affordable options for coverage.  Under the federal health reform law, each state will have an exchange up and running in 2014. The report closely examines the exchanges that have so far been set up by states and rates them according to how accountable they will be to consumers and the public, how much they can do to lower premiums and improve the quality of care, how friendly they will be to consumers, and how stable they will be.

Report | ConnPIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Making the Grade

This report assesses the progress that the states have made, and for the states that have begun to set up their health care exchange, evaluates them on the myriad policies and criteria that will determine whether it is ultimately successful in improving health care for consumers.

Report | Health Care

Building a Better Health Care Marketplace

The creation of a new health insurance exchange offers our state the chance to build a better marketplace for health care.  The exchange can help individuals and small businesses by increasing competition and improving choices in the state’s insurance market.  By providing better options and better information, and negotiating on behalf of its enrollees, the exchange can level the playing field for consumers.

Media Hit | Health Care

CT Mirror: Beyond the Budget: Health Exchange Another Major Task for Malloy

The state budget gets most of the public attention, but the Malloy administration has another major project to tackle this year: creating a health insurance marketplace known as the exchange.

Report | Health Care

Policy Brief #2 - Negotiating for a Better Deal

A well-made state exchange can help deliver lower costs for individuals and small businesses. Just as big businesses negotiate with insurers, using the bargaining power of their employees to push for lower premiums, so too can exchange enrollees benefit from a muscular exchange that negotiates on their behalf for better choices and lower costs.

But to live up to this potential, the exchange will need to do more than simply take all insurers who want to sell their products to its enrollees. It will have to take a close look at the benefits being offered, and the premiums and cost-sharing being charged, to assess whether they provide a good value.

Based on that assessment, the exchange should then negotiate with insurers to offer lower cost, higher quality coverage options for consumers. Similarly, the exchange should monitor year over year premium increases to ensure enrollees continue to get a good deal. And because negotiating power and economies of scale depend on having a large pool of enrollees, the exchange should be made as large as possible.

News Release | Health Care

Effective State Exchanges Key to Lower Health Costs for Consumers

Policy-makers can address rising health care costs by implementing effective health insurance exchanges, according to the first in a new series of policy briefs released today by ConnPIRG, a consumer advocacy group.

Report | Health Care

Policy Brief #1 - Ensuring Accountability

The opportunity to create an exchange will allow the states to increase competition and improve choices in their insurance markets. However, to fully realize this opportunity, the exchange must be accountable to the public, and the individual and small business consumers who will buy their coverage through it.

The best way for the states to realize these goals is to make decisions about the exchange’s structure and governance to ensure that this important new entity is transparent in its operations, and fundamentally accountable to the public interest.

By following the recommendations below, the states can ensure that their health insurance exchange reflects these principles.

News Release | Health Care

Senate Defeats Health Care Repeal

Statement of ConnPIRG's Federal Health Care Advocate Larry McNeely on the U.S. Senate's defeat of an amendment that would have repealed last year's federal health care law.

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