Monday, April 19, 2010

Governor Rell establishes state cabinet to integrate health care reform

Governor Rell announced on Friday that she has established a Health Care Reform Cabinet, comprising officials from several state agencies, to ensure that state-administered health programs and other key elements meet the goals and requirements of the recently passed national health care reform law.

Rell stated that "The national law is such a massive and unprecedented piece of legislation that, in some cases, it will take years until uninsured individuals begin to see the affects. We can be proud that Connecticut is a national leader in providing affordable and accessible care and this Cabinet will ensure that state-run programs complement national reform."

Connecticut was the first state to seek significant reimbursement under new federal law by converting state-administered general assistance (SAGA) to Medicaid.

Other state programs that are likely to benefit from the national law are:
- HUSKY (Healthcare for Uninsured Kids and Youth): Serves 260,000 children and teenagers and 126,000 parents, caregivers, and pregnant women.
- Charter Oak Health Plan: Serves 14,000 previously uninsured adults of all incomes.
- Health Reinsurance Association
- SustiNet
- Healthy Start
- Municipal Employees Health Insurance Program
- CT Homecare Program
- CONNPace
- CONNMap and
- Refugee Medical Assistance

The Health Care Reform Cabinet will be led by Cristine Vogel, deputy commissioner of the Department of Public Health, who oversees health care access. It will include commissioners or their designees from the Departments of Public Health, Social Services, Insurance, Mental Health and Addiction Services, Developmental Disability Services, Children and Families, Revenue Services, Economic and Community Development, Information Technology and the Office of Policy and Management and the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority.

The tasks of the Cabinet are to provide transparent access to information, pursue federal funds for a temporary high-risk insurance pool, create a consumer-friendly health insurance purchasing exchange and review insurance industry reforms to ensure Connecticut is ready for the final implementation of the national law in 2014.

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