Lawmakers: New health care system may lack doctors

HARTFORD - Some Connecticut lawmakers are concerned the state's new Charter Oak Heath Care System, which goes into effect Thursday, may not have enough doctors on board to provide adequate care.

On Wednesday, the Appropriations Committee held a hearing in Hartford, questioning Department of Social Services Commissioner Michael Starkowski about the merits of the new health care system.

Starkowski confirmed that health care providers have been slow to join the program because the Charter Oak is a new initiative with a new benefits package, new co-pays, new co-insurance and new deductibles, which spells out uncertainty to doctors.

?It's not familiar to the provider community out there,? Strakowski said, ?so the provider community and the managed care companies have been getting together to negotiate to try and work out what their reimbursement will be.?

According to Starkowski, only about 25 people will be eligible for benefits under the Charter Oak system beginning Thursday, but he expects more than 19,000 Connecticut residents to be enrolled by the end of the year.

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