Access Health Connecticut

Access Health CT

CONNECTICUT’S OFFICIAL HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACE

AccessHealthCT.com

Connecticut is opening a new health insurance marketplace.

No one should have to worry about getting sick or hurt. You and your family deserve dependable, quality health insurance with coverage you can count on. Even if you’re on a tight budget. Even if you couldn’t qualify for it before due to your health.

When Access Health CT opens in October 2013, you’ll find a unique, online marketplace designed to meet all the health insurance needs of individuals and small businesses. It’s the one (and only) place where you’ll be able to:

•Get discounts on your premiums if you qualify

Find out if you qualify for Medicaid or other CT health insurance programs

Compare name-brand health insurance plans, which must all meet State requirements for quality and benefit levels

Enroll in a plan knowing you can’t be denied because of a health condition

Start Getting Ready for Access Health CT Today.

Get a jump on things right now by learning a little more about what we have to offer. Use our savings calculators to find out if you can get a discount, and see how much you could save. Review our step-by-step guide to getting health insurance. And don’t forget to read through our FAQs for answers to your questions.

Re-Elect Mayor Ben Blake

Ben Balcony

Ben Blake For Milford

Leadership & Vision

First Term Accomplishments:

Led Milford through two of the worst natural disasters our City has ever faced.

Expanded and improved Milford’s Senior Tax Relief

Renegotiated Milford’s electric rate – City utility costs cut by over $1.2 million.

Refunded $22 million in prior bond issues, saving Milford taxpayers $2.5 million.

Renegotiated Milford’s health-care contracts, slashing over $1 million dollars in annual health care costs.

Initiated long-overdue infrastructure improvements at East Shore Middle School.

Implemented comprehensive energy improvements in all City buildings, resulting in significant energy cost reductions.

Learn More

American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) & Connecticut

ALEC at 40

7 Connecticut Republican Legislators Attend ALEC Conference

With a Connecticut legislator presiding, the political lightning rod known as ALEC opened its annual conference in Chicago Wednesday, promoting a business agenda and drawing fierce protests from labor and questions about its scholarships for lawmakers.

House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr., R-Norwalk, is one of the attendees. This year’s conference is a first for Cafero, who is attending in part as a gesture of support to a member of his caucus, Rep. John E. Piscopo of Thomaston, who is serving a term as the national president of ALEC.

“We’re very proud of him,” Cafero said.

Despite Piscopo’s prominent role, ALEC-backed legislation has not advanced in Connecticut, where Democrats control both houses of the General Assembly, and organized labor often speaks with the loudest voice at the State Capitol.

In addition to Piscopo and Cafero, the other House GOP members registered to attend are Laura Hoydick of Stratford, Themis Klarides of Derby, Jason Perillo of Shelton, Rosa Rebimbas of Naugatuck and Sean Williams of Watertown.

ALEC’s website lists state Sen. Kevin Witkos, R-Canton, as state chairman, but Cafero and others said they thought Witkos had recently resigned. Witkos could not be reached for comment, and Piscopo did not respond to a request for an interview.

ALEC Exposed

What is ALEC?

ALEC is not a lobby; it is not a front group. It is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, behind closed doors, corporations hand state legislators the changes to the law they desire that directly benefit their bottom line. Along with legislators, corporations have membership in ALEC. Corporations sit on all nine ALEC task forces and vote with legislators to approve “model” bills. They have their own corporate governing board which meets jointly with the legislative board. (ALEC says that corporations do not vote on the board.) Corporations fund almost all of ALEC’s operations. Participating legislators, overwhelmingly conservative Republicans, then bring those proposals home and introduce them in statehouses across the land as their own brilliant ideas and important public policy innovations—without disclosing that corporations crafted and voted on the bills. ALEC boasts that it has over 1,000 of these bills introduced by legislative members every year, with one in every five of them enacted into law. ALEC describes itself as a “unique,” “unparalleled” and “unmatched” organization. We agree. It is as if a state legislature had been reconstituted, yet corporations had pushed the people out the door.

Who funds ALEC?

More than 98% of ALEC’s revenues come from sources other than legislative dues, such as corporations, corporate trade groups, and corporate foundations. Each corporate member pays an annual fee of between $7,000 and $25,000 a year, and if a corporation participates in any of the nine task forces, additional fees apply, from $2,500 to $10,000 each year. ALEC also receives direct grants from corporations, such as $1.4 million from ExxonMobil from 1998-2009. It has also received grants from some of the biggest foundations funded by corporate CEOs in the country, such as: the Koch family Charles G. Koch Foundation, the Koch-managed Claude R. Lambe Foundation, the Scaife family Allegheny Foundation, the Coors family Castle Rock Foundation, to name a few. Less than 2% of ALEC’s funding comes from “Membership Dues” of $50 per year paid by state legislators, a steeply discounted price that may run afoul of state gift bans. For more, see CMD’s special report on ALEC funding and spending here.

Connecticut Legislators with ALEC Ties:

This is a partial list of Connecticut politicians that are known to be involved in, or previously involved in, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). It is a partial list.

House of Representatives

Rep. Al Adinolfi (R-103); Health and Human Services Task Force[1]
Rep. Bill Aman (R-14); Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force, Civil Justice Task Force [2]
Rep. Penny Bacchiochi (R-52); International Relations Task Force[3]
Rep. Whit Bett (R-78); Health and Human Services Task Force[4]
Rep. Fred Camillo, Jr. (R-151), ALEC Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force member[5]
Rep. Vincent J. Candelora (R-86); Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force[6]
Rep. Christie Carpino (R-32); Civil Justice Task Force [7]
Rep. Dan Carter (R-2); Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force [8]
Rep. Christopher Davis (R-57); Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force[9]
Rep. DebraLee Hovey (R-112), State Chairman[10]; Public Safety and Elections Task Force [11]
Rep. Themis Klarides (R-114); Public Safety and Elections Task Force [11]
Rep. David K. Labriola (R-131); Civil Justice Task Force[12]
Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143); Education Task Force[13]
Rep. Timothy LeGeyt (R-17); Education Task Force[14]
Rep. Lawrence Miller (R-122)[15]; Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force[16]
Rep. Michael Molgano (R-125); Education Task Force[17]
Rep. Jason Perillo (R-113); Health and Human Services Task Force[18]
Rep. John Piscopo (R-76), Second Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors[19][20] and Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force[21] and International Relations Task Force member[3]
Rep. Rosa C. Rebimbas (R-70); Communications and Technology Task Force[22]
Rep. John T. Shaban (R-135); Civil Justice Task Force[23]

Senate

Sen. Michael McLachlan (R-24); Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force[24]
Sen. Kevin Witkos (R-17), State Chairman
[10]

Former Representatives

Rep. Christopher Coutu (R-47); Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force[25]
Former Rep. William Dyson [26]
Former Rep. Norma Gyle, later became Deputy Commissioner Connecticut Department of Health. [26]
Former Rep. Bill Hamzy (R-78)[15]
Former Rep. John Harkins (R-120, now Mayor of Stratford, CT),[15] former ALEC State Chair[27]
Former Rep. Robert M. Ward (former House Minority Leader, currently Commissioner, Department of Motor Vehicles, as of 2012), listed in “1999 ALEC Leaders in the States” by ALEC[27]
Former Rep. Lenny T. Winkler [26]

Former Senators

Former Sen. M. Adela Eads (R), ALEC alumna[27]
Former Sen. George L. “Doc” Gunther (R) (state senator 1966-2006, died 2012), former National Director[27]
Former Sen. Kevin B. Sullivan, Lt. Gov. 2004-2007 [26]

Obamacare and Women’s Health

Obamacare and Women's Health

Mary E. O’Leary @ NHRegister.com:

With health insurance exchanges ready to take applications in less than two months, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro talked about the importance of getting coverage as she singled out women as the biggest beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act.

DeLauro, Bev Levy and Mary Ann Wasil, all cancer survivors, talked about their treatment Monday at a press conference at the Fair Haven Community Health Care Center and the importance of not being penalized for pre-existing conditions.

Connecticut is on target to have its health insurance exchange ready by Oct. 1 and is already engaged in a media campaign to inform the public with New Haven one of the communities that will have a storefront where people can go directly to get advice on navigating the system.

DeLauro said there will no longer be gender rating on the cost of health insurance for women with a long list of preventive services covered, as well as maternity care and contraceptive coverage. Being a victim of domestic violence will no longer be grounds for denying health coverage.

Demian Fontanella from the Office of the Healthcare Advocate said he no longer will have to take calls from residents who can’t access quality care because of cost or a denial for basic services. There are now 344,000 residents without health insurance, 145,000 of them women.

He said treatments will be based on what a physician says and not what the insurer decides.

DeLauro said she felt confident that enough people will participate in the exchange to make it workable. “There is a lot of misinformation out there,” she said.

DeLauro said she plans to meet with Hispanic and African American clergy, as “trusted advocates” in the community, who could help get the word out on the Affordable Care Act.

Learn more about the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.

Fact Sheets

Learn How the Health Care Law is Making a Difference for the People of Connecticut.

UPDATE

40 Ways Obamacare is Working