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September 23, 2019Cart

Business

by Fairfield County Business Journal
by FCBJ

AHCT insurers’ proposed rate increases are ‘unaffordable,’ says Blumenthal

Anthem and ConnectiCare have filed rate proposals for individual and small group plans in Connecticut that, while lower than last year’s proposals on an average percentage basis, are still “unaffordable” for many residents, according to U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

The proposed average individual rate request for 2020 is 7.8% higher than this year, compared with a 12.3% rise from 2018 to 2019, according to the Connecticut Insurance Department (CID). The requests range from -9.8 percent to 25.7 percent. The proposed average small group rate request is a 12% increase, compared with 10.2% percent in 2019.

The plans will be marketed through Access Health CT, the state-sponsored health insurance exchange.

Anthem has proposed a 15.2% increase for individual health plans and 14.8% rise for small group plans, which it attributed primarily to a 9.3% increase in medical cost trends and the reinstatement of the federally mandated health insurer tax. Anthem served about 27,300 members last year.

ConnectiCare proposed an average 4.9% increase in its individual rates, and 4.8% in its small group rates, which it also said was predicated in part on the aforementioned 9.3% increase. It served approximately 75,600 consumers last year.

The CID will now conduct actuarial reviews on each filing to determine if they are justified and will either approve, reject or modify the request. The 30-day public comment period on all filings began July 12; comments can be filed online through the link that accompanies every filing or can be delivered to the Connecticut Insurance Department at P.O. 816, Hartford, CT 06142-0816.

An informational rate hearing will be held on Sept. 4 at 9 a.m. for both individual and small group products marketed on the Access Health CT. The CID expects to make final rulings on the proposals in September. Open enrollment for the 2020 coverage year begins Nov. 1.

Blumenthal urged Congress to continue working to bring down costs of prescription drugs and medical services.