H.B. No. 5210: An Act Mandating Insurance Coverage of Essential Health Benefits for Women, Children, and Adolescents

Respectfully Submitted by: Dominique Torok BSW Candidate WCSU, BSW Intern NASW CT

Dear Representative Larson, Kelly, Scanlon and other esteemed members of the Insurance & Real Estate committee,

My name is Dominique Torok, I am a BSW candidate at Western CT State University and I am representing the NASW CT Chapter. The National Association of Social Workers CT Chapter, representing over 2600 members supports HB 5210 and calls upon the Committee to favorably report the bill.

A 2016 report by the CT Health Foundation stated that the ACA reduced the number of uninsured in CT by 45%. The ACA also enabled 160,000 CT state residents who otherwise could not afford insurance to obtain coverage. This coverage drastically reduced the cost of uncompensated care in the state of CT by 61%. The report also noted that 1.9 million state residents benefit from mandates on the 10 Essential Health Benefits, ban on lifetime coverage limits, charging more or outright denying individuals with pre-existing conditions

The ACA also introduced monumental changes to increase access, reduce inequities, control costs, increase quality, and realign incentives. The uncertainty it’s future is of great concern to us at the NASW CT Chapter. As social workers we believe that all families should be able to meet their basic human needs and health care certainly falls under this category. Individuals in the communities we serve have reported foregoing preventative screenings and essential care services simply because they cannot afford them or do not have coverage. As social workers and advocates we believe it falls upon us to protect these individuals by providing a solution to this problem.

HB 5210 is part of this solution and the NASW CT chapter strongly urges the Committee to take part in creating policy that promotes family stability and the protection of safety net programs that have such an immense impact on those we serve. HB 5210 will empower individuals and families by giving them access to preventative care, mental health screenings, prescription coverage, maternity care, and family planning services.

There is not a single individual in this room that will go through life without the need for affordable and quality healthcare. While some of us are privileged enough to have plans provided to us that meet our needs the needs of those in historically underrepresented groups are often not met. CT needs to take charge to ensure our most vulnerable populations continue to have access to healthcare services that directly impact the well-being of women and families. Thank you for protecting the 10 Essential Health Benefits regardless of what happens on the federal level.



Speak Your Mind