Protecting Connecticut Resident's Right to Healthcare

April 30, 2019

Protecting the residents of our state from discrimination in the health insurance market is one of my top priorities and I’m very happy to report that we are continuing to make progress on that issue this legislative session.

Working together in a bipartisan effort, my colleagues in the House of Representatives and I last week unanimously approved House Bill 5521. The legislation, which now goes to the Senate, codifies into state law the federal Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) protections for people with pre-existing conditions who are covered by short-term policies.

State law already protects people with pre-existing conditions who are on health insurance plans longer than six months.

The legislation we just passed also changes the way someone could be considered to have a pre-existing condition, meaning a person would not need to receive a medical diagnosis to demonstrate that they have such a condition. That would bring Connecticut’s law in line with the federal mandate.

Chronic illnesses and medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, lupus, epilepsy and depression may be considered pre-existing, but even conditions we might not even think of could be disqualifying such as teenage acne, sleep apnea or anxiety. If you checked one of those boxes on the forms they give you to fill out during a simple doctor visit for the flu, you might be at risk under current law of being denied short-term health insurance.

When people lose their health insurance because of a pre-existing condition and can’t afford to buy new coverage, they sometimes bypass a local physician and go directly to our hospital emergency rooms for more expensive care, driving up the uncompensated care costs that we all wind up sharing.

We can’t afford anyone being denied health insurance.