Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 144

    January Session, 2017

Senate Bill No. 544

Senate, March 22, 2017

The Committee on Insurance and Real Estate reported through SEN. LARSON of the 3rd Dist. and SEN. KELLY of the 21st Dist., Chairpersons of the Committee on the part of the Senate, that the bill ought to pass.

AN ACT REQUIRING PRIOR LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL OF INCREASES IN ASSESSMENTS AND USER FEES CHARGED BY THE CONNECTICUT HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 38a-1083 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2017):

(a) For purposes of sections 38a-1080 to 38a-1091, inclusive, "purposes of the exchange" means the purposes of and the pursuit of the goals of the exchange expressed in and pursuant to this section and the performance of the duties and responsibilities of the exchange set forth in sections 38a-1084 to 38a-1087, inclusive, which are hereby determined to be public purposes for which public funds may be expended. The powers enumerated in this section shall be interpreted broadly to effectuate the purposes of the exchange and shall not be construed as a limitation of powers.

(b) The goals of the exchange shall be to reduce the number of individuals without health insurance in this state and assist individuals and small employers in the procurement of health insurance by, among other services, offering easily comparable and understandable information about health insurance options.

(c) The exchange is authorized and empowered to:

(1) Have perpetual succession as a body politic and corporate and to adopt bylaws for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business;

(2) Adopt an official seal and alter the same at pleasure;

(3) Maintain an office in the state at such place or places as it may designate;

(4) Employ such assistants, agents, managers and other employees as may be necessary or desirable;

(5) Acquire, lease, purchase, own, manage, hold and dispose of real and personal property, and lease, convey or deal in or enter into agreements with respect to such property on any terms necessary or incidental to the carrying out of these purposes, provided all such acquisitions of real property for the exchange's own use with amounts appropriated by this state to the exchange or with the proceeds of bonds supported by the full faith and credit of this state shall be subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management and the provisions of section 4b-23;

(6) Receive and accept, from any source, aid or contributions, including money, property, labor and other things of value;

(7) Charge assessments or user fees to health carriers that are capable of offering a qualified health plan through the exchange, [or] implement and change methods of calculating such assessments or fees and otherwise generate funding necessary to support the operations of the exchange, [and impose] provided any increase in the amount of such assessments or fees or change in any method used to calculate such assessments or fees shall be subject to prior legislative approval under subsection (d) of this section;

(8) Impose interest and penalties on [such] health carriers for delinquent payments of [such] assessments or user fees;

[(8)] (9) Procure insurance against loss in connection with its property and other assets in such amounts and from such insurers as it deems desirable;

[(9)] (10) Invest any funds not needed for immediate use or disbursement in obligations issued or guaranteed by the United States of America or the state and in obligations that are legal investments for savings banks in the state;

[(10)] (11) Issue bonds, bond anticipation notes and other obligations of the exchange for any of its corporate purposes, and to fund or refund the same and provide for the rights of the holders thereof, and to secure the same by pledge of revenues, notes and mortgages of others;

[(11)] (12) Borrow money for the purpose of obtaining working capital;

[(12)] (13) Account for and audit funds of the exchange and any recipients of funds from the exchange;

[(13)] (14) Make and enter into any contract or agreement necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties and execution of its powers. The contracts entered into by the exchange shall not be subject to the approval of any other state department, office or agency, provided copies of all contracts of the exchange shall be maintained by the exchange as public records, subject to the proprietary rights of any party to the contract;

[(14)] (15) To the extent permitted under its contract with other persons, consent to any termination, modification, forgiveness or other change of any term of any contractual right, payment, royalty, contract or agreement of any kind to which the exchange is a party;

[(15)] (16) Award grants to trained and certified individuals and institutions that will assist individuals, families and small employers and their employees in enrolling in appropriate coverage through the exchange. Applications for grants from the exchange shall be made on a form prescribed by the board;

[(16)] (17) Limit the number of plans offered, and use selective criteria in determining which plans to offer, through the exchange, provided individuals and employers have an adequate number and selection of choices;

[(17)] (18) Evaluate jointly with the SustiNet Health Care Cabinet the feasibility of implementing a basic health program option as set forth in Section 1331 of the Affordable Care Act;

[(18)] (19) Establish one or more subsidiaries, in accordance with section 38a-1093, as amended by this act, to further the purposes of the exchange;

[(19)] (20) Make loans to each subsidiary established pursuant to section 38a-1093, as amended from this act, from the assets of the exchange and the proceeds of bonds, bond anticipation notes and other obligations issued by the exchange or assign or transfer to such subsidiary any of the rights, moneys or other assets of the exchange, provided such assignment or transfer is not in violation of state or federal law;

[(20)] (21) Sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded;

[(21)] (22) Adopt regular procedures, that are not in conflict with other provisions of the general statutes, for exercising the power of the exchange; and

[(22)] (23) Do all acts and things necessary and convenient to carry out the purposes of the exchange, provided such acts or things shall not conflict with the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, regulations adopted thereunder or federal guidance issued pursuant to the Affordable Care Act.

(d) The exchange shall submit any proposed increase in the amount of assessments or user fees charged to health carriers and any proposed method or change in method used in calculating such assessments or user fees to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to insurance. If the committee does not act within sixty days after receiving a submittal, the proposed increase, method or change in method, as the case may be, shall be deemed to be denied by the committee.

[(d)] (e) (1) The chief executive officer of the exchange shall provide to the commissioner the name of any health carrier that fails to pay any assessment or user fee under subdivision (7) of subsection (c) of this section to the exchange. The commissioner shall see that all laws respecting the authority of the exchange pursuant to [said subdivision (7)] subdivisions (7) and (8) of subsection (c) of this section are faithfully executed. The commissioner has all the powers specifically granted under this title and all further powers that are reasonable and necessary to enable the commissioner to enforce the provisions of [said subdivision (7)] subdivisions (7) and (8) of subsection (c) of this section.

(2) Any health carrier aggrieved by an administrative action taken by the commissioner under subdivision (1) of this subsection may appeal therefrom in accordance with the provisions of section 4-183, except venue for such appeal shall be in the judicial district of New Britain.

Sec. 2. Subsection (b) of section 38a-1093 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2017):

(b) Each subsidiary shall have and may exercise the powers of the exchange and such additional powers as are set forth in such resolution, except the powers of the exchange set forth in subdivisions (7), [(12), (15), (16), (17) and (21)] (8), (13), (16), (17), (18) and (22) of subsection (c) of section 38a-1083, as amended by this act, shall be reserved to the exchange and shall not be exercisable by any subsidiary of the exchange.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2017

38a-1083

Sec. 2

October 1, 2017

38a-1093(b)

INS

Joint Favorable

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill does not result in a fiscal impact to the state or municipalities as Access HealthCT, the state's health insurance exchange, is currently funded through an assessment on health and dental insurance carriers. The total assessment for FY 16 was $30.5 million1. The bill allows the exchange to (1) increase the assessment or user fees and (2) change the assessment methodology with legislative approval.

The Out Years

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact: None

OLR Bill Analysis

SB 544

AN ACT REQUIRING PRIOR LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL OF INCREASES IN ASSESSMENTS AND USER FEES CHARGED BY THE CONNECTICUT HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE.

SUMMARY

This bill allows the Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange (i.e., Access Health CT), only with the prior approval of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, to (1) increase health carrier assessments or user fees or (2) change the methodology used to calculate assessments or user fees. By law, the exchange can charge health carriers capable of offering qualified health plans through the exchange assessments or user fees to fund the exchange's operations.

Under the bill, the exchange must submit any proposed increase in assessments or user fees or change in calculation methodology to the Insurance and Real Estate Committee. If the committee does not take action within 60 days after receiving a proposal, the increase or methodology change is deemed to be denied.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

COMMITTEE ACTION

Insurance and Real Estate Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

19

Nay

1

(03/07/2017)

TOP

1 Source: CT Health Exchange Financial Statement as of June 30, 2016.