Making Health Care Work Updates

What’s Next on Health Care Costs?

By | Abe Scarr
Director

Now that the election is over, talk has turned to the need to work together and get results for America. It’s a tall order, and on the polarized issue of health care, it may seem at first like an impossible task. But I am hopeful that we can make significant progress together. 

News Release | ConnPIRG | Health Care

Supreme Court Upholds Health Reform

Today’s decision is good news for consumers. Insurance companies can’t go back to the days of dropping your coverage once you become ill, or denying coverage to sick children. And beginning in 2014, the days of insurers being able to deny anyone coverage for “pre-existing conditions” will be history. 

Report | ConnPIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Making the Grade

This report assesses the progress that the states have made, and for the states that have begun to set up their health care exchange, evaluates them on the myriad policies and criteria that will determine whether it is ultimately successful in improving health care for consumers.

News Release | ConnPIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Nationwide Survey of New Health Exchanges Shows How to Lower Costs for Consumers

Many states are creating health exchanges to deliver better value for consumers, and other states should follow their lead, according to Making the Grade, a new report by consumer group ConnPIRG.  Health exchanges are competitive marketplaces that can empower individuals and small businesses with better, more affordable options for coverage.  Under the federal health reform law, each state will have an exchange up and running in 2014. The report closely examines the exchanges that have so far been set up by states and rates them according to how accountable they will be to consumers and the public, how much they can do to lower premiums and improve the quality of care, how friendly they will be to consumers, and how stable they will be.

Report | Health Care

Building a Better Health Care Marketplace

The creation of a new health insurance exchange offers our state the chance to build a better marketplace for health care.  The exchange can help individuals and small businesses by increasing competition and improving choices in the state’s insurance market.  By providing better options and better information, and negotiating on behalf of its enrollees, the exchange can level the playing field for consumers.

Media Hit | Health Care

Hartford Courant: State Has A Lot At Stake In Debate on Health Care Law

Connecticut has a lot at stake in the health care debate. If the health care law is repealed, the state government and Connecticut's network of 29 hospitals are scheduled to lose upward of $250 million in federal funds that are already reaching Connecticut under the law. And hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents already benefiting from health care reform would be affected.

Media Hit | Health Care

Anthem Approved for Health Rate Hikes As High As 47 Percent

The state's largest insurer has won approval to raise health premiums by as much as 47 percent for policies sold to individual buyers, the largest price hikes seen in Connecticut since the adoption of national health care reform.

Report | Health Care

The Young Person's Guide to Health Insurance

For people in their late teens and twenties, getting health insurance can be a lot like a lottery . . .

If you’re lucky, your parents have a good plan that covers you while you are in school or your employer picks up the tab. If you’re not, your options shrink to two: a plan offering good coverage that you can’t afford, or a plan you can afford that covers little to nothing.

Starting this year, under the new health care law, young people will gain access to new, previously unavailable health insurance options. To make the most of those new choices, you need to learn the facts. This guide is designed to help you do that.

Report | Health Care

Uncovered: How America's Health Care System Fails Young People

Few issues are more highly charged than health care, as it touches each of our lives in very personal, critically important ways. As a result, this year's public conversation around health care reform has elicited viewpoints, opinions, and analysis from almost every corner of society.

But in all this discussion, one key perspective has often been missing from the health care debate: that of America's youth. It's commonly assumed that young Americans are disengaged from the issue, that on the whole they are a healthy group who are unlikely to be affected by health problems or lack access to care.

But the reality couldn't be more different. In fact, young people, including college students, are on the front lines of the health care crisis. They make up the largest age block of the uninsured, and face a uniquely challenging set of obstacles that often prevent them from getting coverage.

Young people face health issues and require medical care just like the rest of the population, and suffer the same consequences - debt, inability to access required care, difficulties completing studies or finding work - when they become sick. And more so than their elders, they also frequently lack the resources that would enable them to cope with these challenges.

This report explores the under-appreciated problems facing American youth in our health care system. It examines the status quo, looking particularly at the coverage crisis affecting young people, the consequences a lack of quality coverage can impose on their lives, and the inadequacy of the school-based policies many universities offer their students.

While the current situation can be grim, prospects are bright for making health insurance that works available to many more young people. there are common sense reforms that have great potential to give young people more, better options, and reduce rising health care costs to ensure that coverage is more affordable. Adopting them would allow our health care system to better serve all Americans, especially those who have been too often overlooked.

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