Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell has banned a House Bill 5021 requiring health insurance companies to cover various medical treatments and procedures. The bill would have increased the coverage limit for mandatory ostomy supplies and add mandatory coverage for prosthetics devices, wigs for hair loss associated with alopecia areata, hearing aids for children between ages 12 and 18 and leukocyte testing for bone marrow transplants.
The bill also prohibited copayments for colonoscopies and required group health insurance policies to offer a health wellness program that provides incentives to participate.
The Governor noted that each of the provisions have merit and would provide additional benefits to people with serious medical conditions, but expressed concern over the significant cost to taxpayers, policyholders and employers in the future. The bill’s mandate would not affect the state health plan until Fiscal Year 2012, but the Governor cited a review by the non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis that indicated “the FY 12 cost of these mandates could be significant.”
“The simple truth is that we cannot afford this bill,” Governor Rell said. “It would be fiscally irresponsible to burden our recovery with these significant future costs.”
The Governor further noted that municipalities could bear a heavy burden as well when they enter into new health insurance contracts on or after January 1, 2010.
“Our national and state economies have experienced significant turmoil of late and projections of future revenue indicate that we will not quickly return to the days of a booming economy,” Governor Rell said in her veto message. “We must therefore be fiscally cautious and prudent so as not to place roadblocks in our way of eventual recovery.”