Labor and Public Employees Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-913

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING HEALTH CARE DATA REPORTING.

Vote Date:

3/12/2015

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

2/26/2015

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Labor and Public Employees

REASONS FOR BILL:

To allow the Comptroller to enter into cooperative low-cost health care agreements

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Kevin Lembo, Comptroller, State of Connecticut

This bill would alleviate a burden on municipalities interested in exploring participation in the CT Partnership Plan. It would help expedite the process of getting quotes on the potential saving for health care and provide comprehensive benefits to employees.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

David Glidden, Executive Director, CSEA SEIU Local 2001

Every set of municipal contract negotiations grapples with the rapidly escalating healthcare costs. Small towns have limited negotiating power due to their size. This leads to towns having high deductible plans that shift the costs to employees while setting up a system that actually discourages people from seeing doctors. The key to the success of the CT State Employee Health Plan has been its size which creates bargaining power. Towns can go with the plan, reject it or even use the quote as leverage when negotiating.

Matthew Brokman, Legislative and Political Representative, Council 4 AFSCME

The biggest economic issue at the bargaining table is health insurance. Often the rising cost default onto the plans' participants. By providing this information to the Comptroller, this bill will give municipalities needed information to better analyze the cost of health insurance to find a win-win solution.

Lori Pellitier, Executive Secretary Treasurer, Connecticut AFL-CIO

Municipalities must do their part by submitting their health care data to the State Comptroller for a quote from the state health care plan which has more 'purchasing power' then they would alone.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION

Connecticut Association of Health Plans

This bill requires the release of a city or town's full data set to just one bargaining unit if that one bargaining unit makes a request. The confidentiality of employees could be compromised. In the past, the Federal Trade Commission, the Judicial Department and the Attorney General have all weighed in strongly opposed

.

Betsy Gara, Executive Director, Council of Small Towns

Cost has concerns about the rising healthcare cost and believes in the importance of accessibility of information so all parties may make informed decisions. However, this bill achieves this goal at the expense of towns by imposing a new unfunded mandate since the costs associated with this level of reporting would be a major burden placed on towns.

Connecticut Conference of Municipalities

CCM urges no action taken on the bill at this time. Municipal official are already well-versed purchasers of health care and have the means, resources and ability to compare and contrast options. Good intentions can have unintended consequences and they urge no action taken on this bill.

:

Reported by: Marie Knudsen

Date: March 30, 2015