HARTFORD, CT—A bill that ensures 10 “essential health benefits” will continue to be covered in Connecticut even if Congress repeals the Affordable Care Act is headed to the governor’s desk.
The Senate passed the bill by a 34-2 vote Monday night. Last week the House passed it by a 114-32 vote.
The essential health benefits protected under the bill include ambulatory patient services; emergency services; hospitalization; maternity and newborn health care; mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care.
In addition to the mandates, the legislation would also allow for a one year prescription for birth control. Proponents said one other reason the bill is a good one is that it provides access to contraception without co-pays.
“No matter what happens in Washington, D.C. this will ensure that residents of Connecticut will continue to be covered by the protections under the Affordable Care Act,” Sen. Mae Flexer, D-Killingly, said Monday.
Sen Joe Markley, R-Southington, who was one of the two Republicans who voted against the bill, said he did so because the Affordable Care Act “is the subject of controversy” so he couldn’t vote in favor of the bill whether it was a federal or a state mandate.
Also voting against the bill was John Kissel, R-Enfield.
The legislation would apply to fully-insured plans. It would not impact self-insured plans like the one the state and large employers use.