CFC Leaders Meet with DSS

CFC Leaders Meet with DSS

Caring Families Coalition Leaders Press DSS to Solve Redetermination and Communications Problems


Leaders of the Caring Families Coalition (CFC) met with Astread Ferron-Poole, Director of Administration,  Lisa Wells, Operations Manager, Albert Williams, Operations Manager, and David Dearborn, Communications Director, from the Department of Socials Services (DSS) today (11/14/13) to press for automatic redetermination renewals until such time as DSS can solve their internal problems. CFC leaders told stories of people receiving cutoff notices from DSS even though the paperwork for redetermination had been sent in.

DSS officials acknowledged the problem and stated that people who have sent in the paperwork will not be cut off even if they have received a cutoff notice as long as the paper work was submitted and there has been no change in their status.

Angela Lewis-Shakes, CFC Co-Chair, detailed the problems people were having trying to use the new phone system, Connect. People whose phones have limited minutes were using up all of their monthly minutes while on hold waiting to talk to DSS. It is common for people to have to wait for hours before their calls are answered.  Angela stated that the new system is worse than the old system.

DSS officials agreed that the current experience of people trying to contact DSS by phone was unacceptable. Astread Ferron-Poole told CFC leaders that DSS would meet with the contractor for the phone system to correct the problems of people having to wait on the phone and people being cut off while on hold. She promised that the phone system will eventually work perfectly.

CFC leaders and DSS officials agreed to review progress on these and other issues in a meeting to be scheduled.

Health Care Alert

Health Care Alert

Have you heard of SIM (State Innovation Model)? SIM is CT’s plan to transform our health care system by changing how care is delivered and how care is paid for.

What is SIM? The proposed payment model is called Total Cost of Care (TCC). It gives providers financial control over each patient’s care, in that primary care providers will get paid more if they reduce the total cost of care of their own patients, in order to encourage that result. The specific payment methods for doing this set forth in the plan include:

Shared Savings: Providers who save money on their patients care will share in the savings.
Downside risk: Providers lose money if their patients end up costing more than what is expected or estimated.

Will this impact me? Yes, SIM is meant to reform healthcare for every state resident whether you are on Medicare, Medicaid, state insurance exchange coverage, private employer insurance, public employees, etc… EVERYONE.

Why haven’t I heard of it before? The plan was developed by a SIM steering committee and three workgroups, but there were no independent consumer advocates on these groups. Meetings were held with little or no notice to the public.

Can I give input now? A SIM draft has been compiled and is posted on the Office of the Healthcare Advocate website or The CT Health Reform & Innovation site.

You can provide input about the SIM draft in writing by emailing:
You can also contact the Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman by phone and share any concerns. (860) 524-7384 or (866) 712-6998

Feedback on the draft must be provided by November 26, 2013.

What needs to happen moving forward? To ‘do no harm,’ the Caring Families Coalition (CFC) recommends that the plan be amended to clearly include each of these elements:

  • Providers found to have denied or restricted access to necessary care need to be prohibited from receiving shared savings or other financial rewards
  • The system to measure and sanction under-treatment needs to be in place before any provider incentives are implemented
  • Quality measures of under-treatment, including inappropriate denials or limitations on care or avoidance of expensive patients, needs to be developed by an inclusive committee with significant independent consumer advocacy membership
  • Independent consumer advocates need to be immediately added in meaningful numbers, before the plan is finalized, to all SIM committees.
  • All decisions about the SIM plan need to be reached in a transparent way, using a public process based on significant public input
  • As in the first SIM plan draft, downside risk payment models need to be excluded in the Medicaid program.

Act Now! The end of November is approaching quickly. Make your voice heard by sharing your feedback with calls or emails. If you have questions please call Alta at 860-524-0502. Thank you.

Join in support of a Public Option

June 12th is a big day

  • The SustiNet Cabinet’s last scheduled meeting before they deliver CT’s public option and recommendations on the State Basic Health Plan that will be addressed on Tuesday, June 12th, 8:30-10:00 am, LOB, Room 1B.

The SustiNet Cabinet and Malloy administration need to know that we’re expecting real results from this process: not more talk, not more studies– results.  The Cabinet needs to hear loud and clear, that Connecticut needs a robust public option and non-profit alternatives to the fatal grip private insurance companies have on our health and dollars today. 

Event Agenda

a.   Assemblage at 8:30 am (Room 1B LOB) 

b.   Prayer Circle

c.   Speaker or speakers during Public Comment to deliver a clear concise message (9-9:15)

d.   Human Billboard reinforcing our message

  • 2012 Legislative Special Session

Legislators will arrive in the morning, go into caucuses, and convene in the afternoon or evening.  The budget “implementer” including the Exchange Board (to represent consumers) fix should be on the agenda, among other things.

Please call 860-524-0502 if you will speak during the public comment.

Share your concerns on health care in New London

The Connecticut Commission on Health Equity will be sponsoring a public forum in New London County on

June 11th, 4:30-6:00 pm.

Visiting Nurses Association

403 North Frontage Rd, New London, CT


This is an opportunity for the public to discuss health care needs in the New London area.  Caring Families Coalition urges you to attend the meeting to give your input on your community’s needs.   Unnatural Causes, a seven part film series will be featured, showing Place Matters.  The film will provide a deeper exploration of how social conditions affect population health and how some communities are extending their lives by improving them.

Health Care Reform

The 2012 Legislative Session ended without the health care bills raised in the House and Senate.  The difficulty in passing the Basic Health Program, Expand Small Business Health Care and Health Information Technology Exchange is impending on the Supreme Court ruling on the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (ACA) due the end of June.  The Supreme Court decision may impact federal regulation and funding availability necessary for these bills.

While we wait for the outcome of the ACA, efforts to affect the Health Exchange Board to include consumer representation will be addressed in the implementer bill, since the Exchange Board bill was not passed in the Senate.

As we move forward, there are opportunities for the public to discuss health care needs in their respective communities.  These public forums are being sponsored by the Connecticut Commission on Health Equity.  Caring Families Coalition urges you to attend these meetings to provide information on your community’s needs.  The meetings will be held on:

May 22,  5-7 pm                 Generations Family Health Center, 40 Mansfield Avenue, Willimantic

May 23,  6:30-7:30 pm     Southeastern Mental Health Authority, 401 Thames St, Bldg. 301, Norwich  

June 11     Tentative date in New London  

Legislative Session Ends May 9th–ONLY 7 DAYS

Contact your Senator and Representative TODAY.
Tell them you want them to pass 3 health care bills.

  •   Establish a State Basic Health Program (House Bill 5450) – Makes health coverage affordable for low and moderate income people.
  •   Expand Small Business Health Care (House Bill 5487) – Creates new health coverage choices for small businesses.
  •   The Health Information Technology Exchange of Connecticut (Senate Bill 368) – Adds consumer consent to sharing medical information, opt in rather than opt out.


What’s at stake?

  •    Quality, affordable health care choices for people without insurance
  •    New health care options for small businesses to help them be competitive
  •    Consumers consent to share medical history on the exchange.

We all lose if your State Senator and State Representative don’t pass these bills by May 9.

  •   More people left without quality, affordable insurance coverage
  •   More small businesses left on their own in the health insurance market
  •   Consumers will be sharing their medical information on the Exchange without prior consent.

To find your legislator click below:



Below are suggested wording to your legislators.

Dear (Legislator),


The State Basic Health Program, HB 5450, will provide an affordable alternative to purchasing insurance in the Health Insurance Exchange for low-income people. This would add 75,000 adults in CT with affordable, quality health care that otherwise are without health insurance and cost the taxpayers expensive emergency services.  It is funded with federal funds and that would save the state $48 million dollars.  The administration of the Basic Health Program under the state auspices allows continuity of care when individuals lose their job since systems will match the Medicaid program.  CT will gain revenue by keeping employed residents healthy and working.


The Small Business/Nonprofits Affordable Health Care, H.B.5487 offers a similar alternative for small business and self-employed to be administered by the state.  This would increase the number of insured workers with affordable buying power, allow small businesses and nonprofits to hire more workers, and discontinue subsidizing with emergency health care.  If jobs are the number one concern in the CT General Assembly, then this bill should be passed to improve the economy.


The Health Information Technology Exchange of Connecticut, S.B.368 allows consumers to consent to sharing their medical information on the Exchange.  Consumers will be invited to opt in rather than opt out and is used to maintain patient centered care.


Please vote and persuade your colleagues to vote for H.B.5450, H.B.5487, and S.B.368 to improve CT’s economy, state budget and the lives of working poor.


Please let me know your position on these bills. Thank you.



Coffee and Conversations with Eastern CT Legislators

“Coffee and Conversation”

with Generations Staff and the Legislators

Friday, April 27, 2012

8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.


Generations Family Health Center

40 Mansfield Avenue, Willimantic

Please RSVP to Sandra Silvay @

860-456-6270 or

(Please reply by Tuesday, April 24th

so that I may have a count for ordering breakfast)

Attached are keypoints on current health care bills that you can ask your legislator to vote yes on.

Key Talking Points for Bills 2012

Health Care Action Day




 On Wednesday, April 25, 2012, CFC will join its advocacy partner, healthcare4every1 to fight big insurance companies like CIGNA, and groups like the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) that stand in the way of greater access to affordable healthcare options for individuals, families, and small business.

For program of activities for April 25, 2012 from 12 pm to 6 pm, click this link.  Health Care Action Day Final.pdf

Please join in our efforts and register for the event at   INFOR@HEALTHCAREFOREVERY1.ORG (Free bag lunch for all who register)



Review Key Talking Points for Bills 2012.doc for more information.

Increase PUBLIC AWARENESS on health care legislation

  •  Write to your newspaper
  •  Tell the public on Talk Radio
  •  Talk to your community organizations
  •  Talk to your family, friends and neighbors






Events and Updates

Your support is needed:

WHEN     Tuesday, March 27, 2012, 10:30 a.m.

WHERE   Outside LOB – Minutemen Park

WHO       Speaker Donovan, Betsy Ritter, Senator Terry Gerratana and other legislators and advocates

WHAT     Press conference commemorating the second anniversary of the federal health reform law and call on the Supreme Court not to roll back reforms that are already benefiting Connecticut residents.

BRING    Red or white CFC t- shirts and signs!


WHEN    Wednesday, March 28, 2012,  4-6 p.m.

WHAT    Rally to commemorate Patient Protection Affordable Care Act

WHERE  Jillson Square, Willimantic

BRING    Red or white t-shirts and signs!



WHEN     Thursday, March 29, 2012

WHAT     Public Health Committee vote on SB 425:  An Act Concerning a Basic Health Program

ACTION  Contact your legislators on the Public Health Committee and urge them to:
–       be in Hartford on Thursday for the Committee vote on SB 425
–       vote in support of SB 425
–       vote against amendments to SB 425.


Key Talking Points

1.      State Basic Health Program (SBHP) is an option under federal health care reform designed to provide an affordable alternative to purchasing insurance in the Health Insurance Exchange for low-income people in high cost states like Connecticut.
2.      Through a State Basic Health Program, Connecticut could provide good health care to about 75,000 adults with incomes between 133% and 200% of the federal poverty level at less cost to the consumer.
3.      The State Basic Health Program could be designed so that it is funded entirely with federal funds.
4.      If the State Basic Health Program mirrored Medicaid, the state could save $50 million in state Medicaid spending by covering HUSKY parents with incomes over 133% fpl who are currently covered in Medicaid.
5.      The legislature needs to act NOW. The Health Insurance Exchange and the State Basic Health Program need to be planned at the same time and Exchange planning is happening now.



H.B.5450: An Act Concerning a Basic Health Program passed Human Services Committee.

CT Partnership Plan

In the 2011 Legislative session, the new CT Partnership Plan intended to save money on health insurance premiums by joining the state health care plan is ready for business.  This plan is offered to towns, cities and school boards.

The state comptroller’s office analyzed more than 50 municipal employers and found that municipalities  can save 5 – 8% on health insurance premiums. This policy change will provide relief on local property tax payers.

To find out if your municipality can save money, call or email the Office of the State Comptroller’s Healthcare Analysis Unit:  860-702-3650 or