Connecticut Insurers Weigh in on Federal Reform

Mar 22, 2011

Insurers in Connecticut say they’re in dialogue with state officials as the new federal health care exchanges are constructed. The exchanges are due to go into effect in 2014. 

The Malloy administration has put new efforts into implementing the federal health care reform law, and special adviser to the governor, Jeanette DeJesus says many stakeholders, including the insurers are active in the process.

“There’s a general acceptance that this is happening, that they want to be part of it, and they want to make it work.”

The six HMOs who do business in the state are working through their own trade group to represent their views in the exchange negotiations. Martha Temple is President of the New England market for Aetna. She says the federal reform opens the door to many unknowns.

“Each state is going to be very different, and that makes it more complex for a company like Aetna that deals in most of the states in the country—we have to think about each state individually.”

That could mean the new competitive landscape will reshape Aetna’s business decisions.

“And there are markets where we’re profitable, and those that there aren’t, and in the past we’ve always kind of blended those experiences across our company. We’re not going to be able to do that any more. So that’s something that people have to think about is insurers may or may not opt out of a market.”

Aetna says it is making its own efforts to drive down the cost of coverage especially for small group plans. Those include more consumer-directed plans, partnering with Chambers of Commerce, and streamlining the number of different plans that are offered.