Saud Anwar

State Senator

Saud Anwar

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working For You

May 23, 2019

Senator Anwar Joins Legislative Leaders Announcing New Healthcare Plans

HARTFORD, CT – Today, State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor) joined legislators including Insurance and Real Estate Committee co-chairs State Senator Matt Lesser and State Representative Sean Scanlon, Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney, Governor Ned Lamont and Comptroller Kevin Lembo, as they announced the “Connecticut Option,” a new proposal providing state residents with affordable, high-quality healthcare.

“As a physician I have seen far too often that people in our communities are making choices between buying food, medicine or paying for their household utilities and needs, ” said Senator Saud Anwar. “The Connecticut Option will give individuals and small businesses new access to healthcare plans that could save them significant sums. I am proud to see that we as a State will be moving towards expansion of health care options for our citizens, which will benefit everyone in our state.”

Under the new “Connecticut Option,” individuals and small businesses will have the choice of buying a new high-quality, high-value health care plan that could save them up to twenty percent in premiums. Consumer advocates and health care policy experts will assist the Office of Health Strategy in designing the Connecticut Option, which insurance companies will be able to offer through their own provider networks or through a network developed by the Office of the State Comptroller. Connecticut Option plans will leverage our incredible public agencies and one of our state’s leading industries to provide innovative alternatives tailor-made for our residents and employers.

The proposal also takes several steps to lower costs in the individual market. It provides additional financial assistance to low-income residents who qualify for federal subsidies and more middle-class residents who currently struggle with the high cost of health insurance. That assistance will be funded by restoring the responsibility fee on residents who can afford but choose not to purchase health insurance. The proposal also restores the reinsurance program, funded through a surcharge on insurance companies that reduced premiums in the early years of the ACA. Similar programs in other states have reduced premiums by more than ten percent. Finally, it increases competition in the market by requiring insurance companies that serve our state employees to also provide cost-effective plans through the exchange.

In addition to improving the individual and small group markets, the proposal is designed to bring better care at a lower cost to all Connecticut residents by empowering the Office of Health Strategy to monitor health care spending growth, establish an annual cost growth benchmark, and recommend data-driven solutions to lower costs. That transparency and accountability will help curb price increases across health care providers, insurance carriers, pharmacy benefit managers, and drug and medical device manufacturers.