Insurance and Real Estate Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5023

Title:

AN ACT REQUIRING HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR WOUND CARE FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH EPIDERMOLYSIS BULLOSA.

Vote Date:

2/5/2009

Vote Action:

Vote to Draft

PH Date:

2/3/2009

File No.:

 

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Insurance and Real Estate Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill mandates insurance coverage for wound-care supplies for individuals with epidermolysis bullosa (EB).

SUBSTITUTE LANGUAGE:

The language says that the types of coverage “specified in subdivisions (1), (2), (4), (11) and (12) of section 38a-469 of the general statutes” must also “provide coverage for wound-care supplies that are medically necessary for the treatment of epidermolysis bullosa” as of January 1, 2010.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

NONE SUBMITTED

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Laura Morris, of Wethersfield, is the mother of an EB patient and the founder of the EB Support Foundation. She explained that there are different types of EB with varying severity of blisters and she highlighted methods of treatment and care. There are 50 individuals in CT who have EB in some form. Some of these manners of handling the disease are quite costly to the patient and his or her immediate family. She included a list of monthly costs which added up to almost $3500 (over $41,000 per year).

Racheal Morris, of Wethersfield, is a patient with EB who explained the severity of her symptoms and how important it is for individuals with her condition to receive proper care. Their lives depend on it.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Christine Cappiello, Director of Government Relations, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield knows that mandates like this bill will increase health insurance costs and limit the choices employers and individuals have with purchasing their health care (resulting in an increase of people who have to go without health insurance).

Susan Halpin, CT Association of Health Plans pointed out that CT has the 5th highest number of mandates in the country. (with a total of 49 mandates, OLR Report: 2004) Each mandate increases health insurance costs. These costs affect small businesses trying to provide their employees with insurance and cause individuals to have to go without health insurance because it is too expensive.

*25% of the uninsured are priced out of the market because of state mandates.

(OLR Report: 2004)

*Mandates increased 25-fold over the period 1970-1996, an average annual growth rate of more than 15%.

(PriceWaterhouseCoopers Article: 2002)

*For every 1% increase in premiums, 300,000 people become uninsured.

(Lewin Group Letter: 1999)

Eric George, Associate Counsel, CT Business and Industry Association knows that mandates like this bill harm CT businesses' ability to afford of health insurance, especially small businesses. These types of bills will cause CT's health care system to be even more costly and inefficient.

*Health Insurance Mandates increase premiums by as much as 65%.

(Council for Affordable Health Insurance[CAHI] report: 2006)

Reported by: Sarah J. Richards

Date: 2/23/09