Rep. McCarthy Vahey champions bill to protect health care plan benefits

State Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey (D-Fairfield) testified Thursday with several fellow legislators in support of legislation she co-introduced to protect the “10 essential health benefits” health insurance plans must cover under the Affordable Care Act.

She joined Reps. Linehan, Conley, Porter, Simmons and Sen. Flexer in testifying in front of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee on the bill, which the group asked the committee to raise as part of a package of women’s health bills they proposed. HB 5210 would require health insurance plans sold in Connecticut to continue covering the 10 essential health benefits, regardless of changes made to the Affordable Care Act on the federal level.

The bill would also protect copay-free birth control and expand required contraceptive coverage to include a 12-month supply of contraception dispensed at one time. The legislation has received bipartisan support.

“Protecting these 10 essential benefits is critical for Connecticut families’ health and wallets. No matter what happens at the federal level, our state shouldn’t go backwards,” said Rep. McCarthy Vahey. “We introduced this as a women’s health bill because the maternal health care and contraceptive coverage components are so critical to women in particular, but everyone stands to benefit from the range of covered services.”

The 10 essential health benefits are: ambulatory patient services; emergency services; hospitalization; pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care; mental health and substance use disorder services; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; laboratory services, preventive and wellness services; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care.

Rep. McCarthy Vahey testifying before the Insurance Committee

Rep. McCarthy Vahey testifying before the Insurance Committee

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