CT may file bill requiring health plans to issue individual policies

Even when you're not dealing with the thorny issue of policy rescissions--which has been so colorfully the case in California--individual health insurance policies are a tricky bet at best. Insurers are prone to rejecting patients who have any of a wide variety of illnesses, a perfectly legal step in most cases if they do it up front. However, five states, including New York and New Jersey, have taken these matters into their own hands. They've passed "guaranteed issue" rules demanding that health plans sell individual policies regardless of a consumer's health.

Now, it's possible that Connecticut will join the guaranteed-issue states. State Healthcare Advocate Kevin Lembo is considering asking the state legislature to file such a measure, which would arouse stiff opposition from the state's health plans. (The health plan industry says this approach just doesn't work, as it does nothing to bring healthy consumers into such plans and ultimately drives up costs substantially.) Lembo himself admits that guaranteed-issue rules could raise premiums for all persons with individual policies, as more patients with higher costs become insured. If such a bill is passed, however, he hopes to find ways to prevent any individual health plan from ending up with too many high-risk patients, which could mitigate his plan's impact.

To learn more about this proposal:
- read this Hartford Courant piece

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