NORWALK, Conn. — The Affordable Care Act is a hot topic in national news right now. But health insurance really isn’t affordable for the middle class, Nora King said.
“I just got my new Open Enrollment quotes and I am baffled as to what is going on,” King said in an email to State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25), State Rep. Chris Perone (D-137), State Rep. Lucy Dathan (D-142) and other elected officials Monday. “So, my monthly payment is $926. Plus, huge deductible and now it is 20%. So, the monthly cost has gone up.”
“I fully agree that this is a major issue for our residents,” Dathan wrote back. King said no one else responded.
Open enrollment begins Sunday. “Residents with individual plans will see an average increase of 0.01% in their premium costs, and those with small group plans will see an average increase of 4.1%,” NPR reported in September.
The state Insurance Department approved next year’s rates at significantly lower levels than requested, NPR wrote.
King wrote, “What exactly is going on up in Hartford that the cost of health care just keeps getting worse and worse and worse. You are all members of my party and as Bob Duff says he is up in Hartford standing up for us. How is this standing up for us? How is this affordable?”
Duff did not reply to an email from NancyOnNorwalk.
King wrote, “We can’t blame the Republicans because you guys have the majority vote. Why is healthcare not getting affordable? What is the point of having insurance? I am better off putting this money in the bank. We can get a new high school but we can’t get affordable health care?”
The email also went to State Sen. Will Haskell (D-26), U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Gov. Ned Lamont.
Dathan had offered King assistance months ago when she had an issue getting emergency help, King said.
“I am sorry that this is still an issue and this is one of my top legislative priorities,” Dathan replied.
“We are not is session now so there are no active bills looking at this, currently,” Dathan said. “As you and I have discussed before, I am working on the Public Option that will address the issues that you outline below by giving self employed and small business another means to get insurance. COVID-19 was a huge barrier to getting some meaningful legislation done here in 2020 but we on the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, where I sit as Vice Chair, will need to work with the Insurance industry to get this over the finish line. I am hopeful that we will get some meaningful reform done in 2021.”
Dathan is being challenged for reelection by Republican former State Rep. Fred Wilms, who she unseated two years ago. Wilms did not reply to an email giving him a chance to comment on King’s health insurance complaints and Dathan’s response.
“So disappointed in what is taking place with healthcare in CT,” King wrote to NancyOnNorwalk. “These career politicians don’t care about us. Lucy has actually been great, and she isn’t even my rep. She always helps.”