December 19, 2013

Hartford – State Senator Kevin Kelly (R-21), ranking member of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Insurance Committee, released the following statement today.

“The statement issued yesterday by Kevin Counihan illustrates exactly why we need a public hearing. His statement raises more questions than it answers.

“There is a reason why I am asking for a public hearing over a one-on-one meeting with Mr. Counihan. These issues are complex and a dialogue among many is needed to fully understand how the system is functioning and what we can do to make it better.

“I hope to receive more detailed explanations from Mr. Counihan when he testifies before our committee in the near future.

“For example, it has been reported that 2,400 individuals received inaccurate information when signing up for insurance through Access Health CT. These reports contradict Mr. Counihan’s testimony before the Insurance Committee at our November 22 meeting when he touted the successes of the exchange, but failed to mention the website problem that lasted throughout the month of October.

“When I spoke at that hearing about the issues my constituents faced when trying to sign up for coverage through Access Health CT, Mr. Counihan said he had not heard any complaints or seen any problems himself. After I described my constituents’ problems he said, ‘That runs a little contrary to our experience right now.’ Clearly his statement was not completely forthright, as he has since admitted to knowing about the website issues on September 26.

“Furthermore, I believe that when the government provides incorrect information to individuals and we know who these individuals are, we have an obligation to correct the issue by doing more than just sending a letter, making a phone call and installing a warning on a website. Government created a problem for the people. Government needs to fix the problem. We need to track these individuals to know whether they have insurance effective January 1, 2014.

“I look forward to discussing these issues and others with Mr. Counihan in a public hearing. I am voicing these concerns for my constituents and individuals throughout Connecticut. I have a responsibility to answer to the people of Connecticut and so does Mr. Counihan.”