Health Care Forum in Wilton Brings a Packed House

November 15, 2013
Left to Right - Rep. Lavielle, Panelists and Sen. Boucher at the Health Care Forum at the Brubeck Room in the town library.

Left to Right – Rep. Lavielle, Panelists and Sen. Boucher at the Health Care Forum at the Brubeck Room in the town library.

Hartford, CT – State Representative Gail Lavielle (R-143) and State Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) and a panel of experts in various areas of the healthcare industry fielded questions from the public at an open forum on Thursday at the Wilton Library. At issue: concerns over the Federal Affordable Care Act & the CT Healthcare Exchange.

“I am very concerned that the new federal law adversely affects our residents,” said Sen. Boucher. “Many people are also losing the doctors they have built a life-long relationship with.”

“Who can they turn to? Which doctors are in the exchange? These and many other questions were answered during this informative Connecticut Healthcare Exchange Panel,” added Sen. Boucher.

“Every day I hear from constituents who are confronting new, unexpected situations due to the new federal law,” said Rep. Lavielle. “Many have had their health insurance policies canceled, and others can no longer see their doctors under their plans. Many people find that they will now have to pay twice or three times as much as they have been paying for coverage. There is also a great deal of uncertainty about any further changes that might still occur.”

In an effort to raise awareness and inform individuals, senior citizens and small business owners about the Federal Affordable Care Act & CT Healthcare Exchange the Wilton lawmakers assembled the wide range of experts. Nearly 30 people attended the forum.

  • Guests asked a number of questions including:
  • What is the impact if a person’s healthcare is canceled or changed?
  • How does this affect businesses with under 50 employees, or a business with more than 50 employees?
  • What are the options for those who are self-employed?
  • What happens to health insurance coverage when you travel out of state or attend school out of state?
  • How does this affect you if you are on Medicare or Medicaid?
  • What happens if your plan contained one of the doctors who is no longer in the United Healthcare System?
  • Why is my current plan no longer available?
  • What are my options to sign up for another plan?

The panel members, who were versed in areas of health care, insurance and small business answered questions and shared their perspective.

The panelists:

  • Demian Fontanella, General Counsel, Office of the Healthcare Advocate
  • John Lavin, Owner, Beacon Physician Placement Services
  • Dr. Michael Hunt, Chief Medical Officer, St. Vincent Health Partners
  • George Watts, Employee Benefits Advisor, Health Consultants Group in Plainville, CT
  • Peter Van Loon, Chief Operations Officer, Access Health Connecticut

Sen. Boucher remarked, “There is still a great deal of confusion on this complex issue. Attendees disclosed that getting on the website and getting return phone calls from healthcare operators are still an issue. It is clear there is much that still needs to be resolved at the federal level and constituents will continue to have problems. Be assured during this time of uncertainty we will continue to seek answers to these questions and share the information with residents as it becomes available.”

“These changes are daunting for everyone,” said Rep. Lavielle. “To buy healthcare coverage, people and business owners must now do extensive research in areas where they do not have in-depth expertise. At the same time, they are finding that getting the proper information is very difficult. We will do everything we can to help them navigate what has become a very complex system.”