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As State Designs New Health Care Guidelines, Advocates Push For Consumer Voice

By Jeff Cohen

January 02, 2012

Earlier this month, the Obama administration said it wanted to let states play a bigger role in deciding what kinds of benefits should be covered by health insurance.

Now, as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, some advocates in Connecticut want to be sure that consumers have a voice in the state's decision, too.

The Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010. By 2014, those without insurance will have the option of getting it through a state-administered exchange.

But first, state officials have to decide just what benefits they want covered. Lina Paredes is a vice president at the Connecticut Health Foundation. She says her agency is helping to fund community organizers in Hartford to help educate residents about the reform and its possibilities.

"Because we think it's really important to make sure that the consumer voice is present in the healthcare conversation and the healthcare reform debate and to represent the consumer."

The foundation also wants to make sure that its priorities -- oral health, mental health, and racial and ethnic health disparities -- are part of the discussion about what healthcare reform will look like in Connecticut.

Reprinted with permission of Jeff Cohen, author of the blog Capital Region Report. To view other stories on this topic, search Capital Region Report at http://capitalregionreport.wordpress.com/.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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