Letter: Insurance system is deeply flawed

To the Editors:

Gov. Malloy is being lauded for the Connecticut Health Exchange and Commission, but this organization (which added another layer of 45-plus administrators) does not appear to demand that new premium information be disclosed until after the mid-term elections.  Does that help consumers and small businesses? I note the following:

1. The Commission and Exchange was reported to have spent $75,000 to have two murals painted.

2. They attempted to displace our college-age daughter from our family plan into Medicaid — although health care laws permit coverage until age 26 on family plans. What would that mean? She would lose her doctors, have limited choices, and all taxpayers would pay for her premiums which we found to be unacceptable. Insurance agents informed us the state would receive additional money for each person they placed into Medicaid.

3. Gov. Malloy and the Democratic legislature assembled a team through its legislative process that did not appear to have consumer or small business advocates. A head of the team came from Kansas, Secretary of HHS Sibelius’ state, for whom he worked when she was governor. Others appear to come mostly from insurance and health care industries. State Sen. McKinney shared that his pick was a former health insurance executive.

4. Having health insurance does not guarantee health care.

5. Our health insurance premiums as of today (not the new premiums to be disclosed after the mid-term elections) will cost us at least 100% more, about $10,000 more; yet our current plan is exemplary. Moreover, we do not know how much more than 100% it will cost us to guarantee that we have out-of-network care.

The Affordable Care Act enacted by Congress has real demands and consequences. Congress may have been exempted from the Affordable Care Act or portions of it as some other groups were. Shouldn’t members of Congress, who voted for this legislation with the promise that they could read it after they voted for it, have to pay full insurance premiums to understand how these exorbitant and increasing costs affect a family? If one has to pay over $20,000 in annual premiums, then they must generally earn over $30,000 just to pay for health insurance premiums. As a result, we will not be spending the additional premium costs, in excess of $10,000, in our community and among businesses — that is sad.

Marianne Gustafson

Wilton, Oct. 28