Connecticut Officials Look at Insurance Companies’ Demand to Raise Rates | State
(The Center Square) – The Connecticut Department of Insurance is deciding whether it will approve rate increases for individuals and small groups on the state’s health insurance exchange.
Insurance companies demand rate increases from 8.6% for individual policies to 12.9% for group plans, citing growing need for services as COVID-19 and increasing demands for behavioral health treatments increased.
State comptroller Kevin Lembo criticized the scale of the requested increases.
“These requested rate hikes also come at a time of historic benefits for insurers where executive compensation and bonuses have skyrocketed,” Lembo said in a statement. “This is further proof of what almost everyone knows to be true: The health care options currently available to individuals, small businesses, and nonprofits aren’t meant to keep people healthy. health. They are only meant to save a few companies and their managers extraordinary sums of money.
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong and health care attorney Ted Doolittle released a joint statement asking the Insurance Department to take a close look at the claims.
“Annual health insurance price increases can wreak havoc on family budgets, but to say that the current proposed increases come at a difficult time is truly an understatement,” Tong and Dolittle said in a joint statement. “Many consumers are grappling with the impacts of COVID-19: they have lost their jobs; they cannot pay their rent and unemployment assistance is dwindling. Small employers also face intense economic hardship as they struggle to regain a foothold in the market. “
Consumers who attended a public hearing on the proposed rate increases said they could not continue paying the high annual premiums.
Dan Pflug, a certified public accountant from Easton, said his annual bonus for his family was $ 33,813 with a deductible of $ 2,500. Diane Keefe of Norwalk said her premiums were $ 43,000 for her family of four and the deductible was $ 5,000.
Senator Saud Anwar, D-South Windsor, said the increases do not coincide with increased wages or increased profits for small businesses.
“The past year and a half has been a nightmare for the average citizen of our state and for most businesses,” Anwar said. “We are not able to survive an increase in this capacity. “
The Insurance Commission has several options, including approving a partial increase or rejecting the application altogether. The decision is expected to be released by the end of the month.