Scanlon Ends Busy 1st Session As Co-chair Of Insurance & Real Estate Committee

March 22, 2017

Last week, the Connecticut General Assembly’s Insurance & Real Estate Committee completed its work for the 2017 legislative session and committee chairman Rep. Sean Scanlon (D-Guilford) reported on several noteworthy bills passed by his committee this year.

“It was a very busy few months on the Insurance & Real Estate Committee but I’m proud of the work we accomplished – mostly on a bipartisan basis – on behalf of Connecticut consumers,” said Scanlon.

Scanlon, serving in his second term as the state representative for Guilford and Branford, was named chairman of the Insurance & Real Estate committee by Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz in January.

The General Assembly, which meets in odd numbered years from January to June, divides the annual legislative session into two parts: from January to March legislators work in committees to review and debate bills and from April to June bills that are passed by the individual committees are debated by the full legislature.

Major bills passed this session by Scanlon's committee include:

Protecting Women’s Health

Under the Affordable Care Act and since 2012, nearly 900,000 Connecticut women have not had to pay a co-pay for their birth control or other preventative health services. With the fate of the ACA in question, our committee passed SB 586 AN ACT EXPANDING MANDATED HEALTH BENEFITS FOR WOMEN, CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS to ensure that, regardless of what happens in Washington, Connecticut women can be sure their benefits won’t go away.

Ensuring Affordable Access to Mammograms

Thanks to SB 810 AN ACT CONCERNING COST-SHARING FOR MAMMOGRAMS AND BREAST ULTRASOUNDS, insurance companies will be prohibited from charging a copay for mammograms and breast ultrasounds (which are effective in spotting cancer in women with dense breast tissue).

Lowering Drug Prices At Your Local Pharmacy

Connecticut consumers have been getting ripped off through a process known as “clawback” where pharmacists were not allowed to tell a customer that they could offer them the drug cheaper than the cost of their copay. To outlaw this practice and save consumers money at the pharmacy, we passed HB 7124 AN ACT CONCERNING MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE COST LISTS AND DISCLOSURES BY PHARMACY BENEFIT MANAGERS.

Regulating Uber and Lyft

Ride share companies like Uber and Lyft have been operating completely unregulated since coming into the state nearly two years ago. Under HB 7126 AN ACT CONCERNING TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANIES, common sense consumer safety standards like registration with the state, driver background checks, and insurance requirements in case of accidents will be in place to keep customers of these popular companies safe.

Securing Opioid and Substance Use Treatment Access

Last year Connecticut lost over 900 people to drug overdose, the majority of which were from heroin or opioids. More people will die from overdoses this year than gun violence or car accidents combined. Finding treatment and navigating insurance bureaucracies can be difficult; individuals who want help can sometimes be turned away or discharged early due to insurance issues. Thanks to SB 543 AN ACT CONCERNING HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE OF INPATIENT SUBSTANCE ABUSE SERVICES, those seeking or receiving treatment for substance use can stay and get help until a professional determines they are stable, not based on when or how long the insurance company is paying.

Allowing Electronic Insurance Cards

Connecticut and New Mexico are the only states in the country that don’t allow drivers to use electronic insurance cards as proof of insurance. HB 5135 AN ACT CONCERNING ELECTRONIC PROOF OF AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE IDENTIFICATION CARDS allows Connecticut drivers to use electronic insurance cards.

Keeping Kids and Young Adults On Dental Insurance

Through HB 5971 AN ACT EXTENDING THE PERIOD CHILDREN, STEPCHILDREN AND DEPENDENTS MAY RETAIN DENTAL INSURANCE COVERAGE all children and stepchildren under the age of 26 can stay on their parent or guardian’s dental insurance plan.