State committee to hold hearing on health care act

Joseph Crisco

HARTFORD — State Sen. Joseph Crisco, Jr. (D-17) will convene an informational hearing next week on the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its impact on the state’s insurance industry.

Senator Crisco, who is Senate chair of the legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee, and committee members will hear presentations by officials of the state Department of Insurance.

Crisco said, in a press release, the state must continue its work to be fully prepared to implement the Affordable Care Act now that its provisions were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year.

“Connecticut is already very well positioned for ACA compliance given the creation of a state Affordable Insurance Exchange, something of an insurance clearinghouse, to help uninsured residents access, review, compare, and purchase insurance beginning in 2014,” Crisco said in the release. “Connecticut has also already received $7.6 million in grants to help underwrite research, planning, information technology development, and implementation of this insurance exchange, which has also been referred to as a ‘virtual insurance mega-mall.’”

In the meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that senior citizens in Connecticut have saved almost $58 million this year on prescription medications because ACA provisions filled the so-called “donut hole” in Medicare prescription drug coverage, according to the release.

Other benefits of the ACA include elimination of preexisting conditions as cause for denial of coverage, and extended coverage for offspring to remain on a family plan until the age of 26, each of which will impact insurers in the state, the release stated.

The hearing will be held Tuesday at 1 p.m. in Room 2D of the Legislative Office Building. Members of the public are invited to attend.