In response to your May 24th article, “CT Lawmakers Drop Plan to Expand State Health Insurance,” we have issued the following challenge to the Legislature and Governor Lamont.
Please take the “Show Us the Fix” health insurance Challenge below!
If you as a Connecticut legislator feel confident there is no need for a health care public option, then you should feel confident accepting the “Show Us the Fix” health insurance challenge. Find a health insurance option for our small business and small non-profit that is affordable and actually meets the health care needs of our employees.
As leaders of a non-profit organization and small business respectively, we have been unsuccessful in finding quality, affordable health insurance for our employees. We were looking forward to the passage of Raised Bill 842, AN ACT CONCERNING HEALTH INSURANCE AND HEALTH CARE IN CONNECTICUT, as a possible solution, and were disappointed to learn that the proposal for a health care public option has been stripped from that bill.
Some legislators believe that the need is simply not there – that the problems have been fixed. Rep. Kerry Woods, co-chair of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, was quoted on Monday in an article on Insurancenewsnet.com saying “There’s really no need for it at this point … The hole that we were trying to fix with the public option bill is fixed. Both Anthem and CIGNA have come out with small-group plans. There are more options for small businesses than there were a year ago. There’s no need to run that bill.” Read the article here.
That would certainly be great news if it were true. Our concern is that it appears to be untrue. Instead it appears Gov. Lamont and many of you, including Rep. Woods, are taking the word of insurance industry executives at great cost to small businesses, non-profits and their employees. The result is a plethora of plans that are so expensive and whose deductibles are so high that employees cannot afford to actually use the insurance. This isn't hyperbole. This is our experience. Of course, there are some brand new plans on the market which Rep. Woods referenced in her interview. We’ve looked. Yes, they appear more affordable, but they leave out too much to qualify as anything approaching quality.
Like virtually all small employers who attempt to offer health care benefits to our employees, we conduct comprehensive annual reviews of available plans, both public and private, for both individuals and small groups. We, and the various agents and brokers we've worked with, have been hard-pressed to find any plan that is affordable, that meets all the health care needs of our employees, and that won’t increase in cost by double digit percentages every year, forcing us to settle for cheaper plans with even less coverage. We are looking for evidence that the problem has been fixed so that we can benefit from those solutions. If the problem has been fixed, it should be relatively quick and easy for any elected official or insurance industry executive to find us a quote for an affordable, quality plan for our employees. We would gratefully welcome that quote.
We challenge you go through the same process we do every year, and find us a plan that you would regard as affordable, considering both premiums and out of pocket expenses. Most importantly, find us a plan that you would personally regard as quality health insurance for you and your family. Please do not give up on making substantive changes to Connecticut's health care system before you take this challenge! Below our signatures we have included the basic information you need from each of our organizations to be able to submit requests for quotes.
Given that most agents can gather this information within a couple of hours, we ask that you present your selections to us by Wednesday, June 2nd. Send information to [email protected] or call (860) 652-8961. We will gladly review your selections and tell you why they do or don’t meet our needs. If you accept the challenge and are unable to find a good option, we would welcome that information as well.
Thank you for taking the challenge!
Rev. Josh Pawelek, minister, Unitarian Universalist Society: East, Manchester
Deb Dauphinais, co-owner, Bicycles East, Glastonbury
Take the “Show Us the Fix” Health Care Challenge:
First, find a quality, affordable health insurance policy for a small business (LLC) with the following employees:
Second, find a quality, affordable health insurance policy for a small non-profit (501c3) with the following employees:
Female, 60 plus 1 family member, 63
Remember, the policy you find must be acceptable to you and your family as an avenue to quality, affordable health care.