Special Session Recap: What Happened?
August 4, 2020
By: Rosana Ferraro
Wondering what happened in the special session? We’ve got your back.
As you may know, legislators got together for a special July session to address four issues, two of which are health-care related: telehealth, diabetes costs, absentee ballot voting in November and police accountability.
So what happened?
Though the bill extended telehealth passed, the insurance companies got their way and telehealth is no longer available at no cost to people who have private insurance. Medicaid members, however, do not have out of pocket costs, and uninsured folks will still pay the Medicare rate for telehealth visits.
Telephone only telehealth stayed in the bill, which we are excited about. This means that those who do not have reliable internet access can still be covered for telehealth, which we consider to be a win for health equity.
These provisions will only be in effect until March 15, 2021. Legislators hope to return to the issue in the 2021 regular session.
The telehealth bill passed unanimously in the House in the Senate.
On insulin, the bill that passed contains the lowest insulin cap in the country:
· A $25 cap on insulin and a $100 cap on diabetes supplies
· Kevin’s Law, which allows pharmacists to fill emergency insulin and diabetic supplies prescriptions for 30 days if a doctor can’t be reached to authorize a prescription
· A study on a program to assist low-income patients with diabetes
The bill’s provisions will go into effect starting January 1, 2022. Unfortunately, we are too close to the end of the year for these changes to begin in 2021. Nonetheless, this is a huge victory for Connecticut residents.
This bill passed 142–4 in the House, and 35–1 in the Senate.
Absentee ballot voting in November- passed
We were happy, as well, to see that the House and Senate approved no-excuse absentee ballot voting in November — this is critical to having a safe election that we all can participate in. Now, the pandemic will not stand in the way of everyone having the ability to vote in the coming election.
For more, check out:
· The bill summary for the telehealth bill
· The bill summary for the diabetes bill.
· Both the testimony for the telehealth and diabetes bills are available at the Insurance and Real Estate Committee’s page.