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wadleighOn August 2nd Jim Wadleigh CEO of Access Health, Connecticut’s ACA [Obamcare] health exchange. Said that concerns that the Trump Administration might withhold certain subsidy payments made to insurers on the exchange could lead both insurers to drop coverage for 2018.

acaBy, Ana Radelat

WASHINGTON:– Even though the U.S. Senate failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, there will potentially be changes to Connecticut’s health care system that may affect tens of thousands of state residents.

Depending on what the president and his administration decide in coming days, some people may lose subsidies that would help pay their premiums, co-pays and deductibles next year. Others could see sizable increases in their premiums and perhaps a smaller choice of plans pending the outcome of decisions yet to be made by Connecticut insurers.

Access Health CT storefront


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Access Health CT CEO, James Wadleigh Dropping Retail Locations in New Haven and New Britain

Kyle Constable

HARTFORD: Facing a shortened enrollment period, Connecticut’s health insurance exchange announced Wednesday it plans to scale back its two existing storefronts and redeploy resources to broaden its reach.

The decision comes as the exchange, Access Health CT, remains stuck in a rut created by months of uncertainty at the national level. The exchange is anxiously awaiting a critical decision from the White House that will influence whether the individual marketplace’s two insurers will offer plans again next year.

By: Kyle Constable

connecticare kelsey
Connecticare actuary Kelsey, tries to lay out the numbers behind the company's proposed rate increases.

Hartford: Two of the state’s largest health insurers came face to face with hostile customers and dissenting advocates at a hearing last week over another year of requests for double-digit rate hikes.

The stakes are even higher this year because the state Insurance Department’s final decision on the rate requests will influence whether the two remaining insurers on Connecticut’s health insurance exchange, Access Health CT, return in 2018.

The Insurance Department selected those two insurers, Anthem and ConnectiCare Benefits, for public hearings as part of an ongoing review of the sizable rate hikes they are requesting. The insurers say the increases are necessary to stem financial losses in their individual and small-group plans, both on and off the exchange.

starlingGlastonbury: A leading physician owned multispecialty medical practice Starling Physicians hasexpanded east of the river at 289 Western Boulevard.

The “integrated” practice doctors treat, Allergy, Cardiology, Orthopaedics/Sports Medicine, Physical Therapy, Podiatry, Pulmonary, Rheumatology and surgery

“We are thrilled to be opening a new state-of-the-art facility in Glastonbury,” said Tracy King, Chief Integration Officer of Starling Physicians.“

insurance ratesBy Ana Radelat

Hartford: The state’s health insurers are asking for sizeable rate increases for individual and small-business policies sold in 2018, led by Anthem, which is seeking an average 33.8 percent increase on plans covering individuals and their families.

The insurers blamed the size of their rate hikes in large part on the unsteady future of the Affordable Care Act, which congressional Republicans are attempting to repeal.

ConnectiCare has asked the Connecticut Insurance Department for an average rate hike of 15.2 percent on policies it sells through Access Health CT, where it now covers about 51,000 people.

cadeucesInsurers: Trump hasn’t committed to payments that would keep them in ACA exchanges

By Ana Radelat

Washington: Despite reports to the contrary, President Donald Trump has not committed to making payments that insurers like Anthem say are needed for them to consider staying in Access Health CT and other state health insurance exchanges.

Kristine Grow, spokeswoman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, said the Trump administration has said it would make Cost-Sharing Reduction, or CSR payments for the month of May, but “is not committed to long-term payments.”

“So essentially we remain in the same place we’ve been for the last couple of months,” Grow said.

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

stvincentsBRIDGEPORT: In meetings in late February [see report] hospital executives told employees that it was considering a potential sale or merger in the future.

No formal documents had been presented to the Connecticut Department of Public Health for any action.

In an article in March 5th edition of the CT Post, Dianne Auger, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at the hospital, said in a statement. “Given the rapidly evolving health care landscape, at some point in the future, we believe it may be best for St. Vincent’s to explore strategic alignments with a local or regional health system so that we can continue to best serve our community." She added, “it should be noted that we are not currently in negotiations to do so,” Auger continued. “We want to assure the members of our community that our 3,700 associates and medical staff are privileged to continue the legacy of the Daughters of Charity who arrived in Bridgeport to found St. Vincent’s Hospital, and we plan on doing so far into the future.”