Conn. Lawmakers to Consider Rell Health Bill Veto Override

July 16, 2009 ( - A bill vetoed by Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell to open the state's employee health program to other participants may still have a chance.

Business Insurance reported that Democrats in the Connecticut General Assembly are expected to meet to decide whether to try to override the Rell veto. Rell had asserted in her veto message that the well-intentioned measure would boost costs for the state and taxpayers because those most likely to join the program would be the heavy health service users (see Rell Blocks Conn. Wellness Program Bill ).

Rell complained H.B. 6582 would have forced the state to stop buying coverage in the commercial market and switch to a self-insured plan, a move Rell said also would increase costs for the state because of existing contractual agreements.

According to the Business Insurance report, by joining the state program, cities, nonprofit groups and small employers-those with fewer than 50 workers-would be part of a much bigger purchasing entity and would pay lower rates than they could obtain on their own.

“The state currently has agreements for health care coverage in place through July 2011, which guarantee effective cost containment, including premium caps. Switching to a self-insured plan now would eliminate the premium caps and could result in an additional cost of at least $69 million for health care…for 2010 alone,” Rell said.