Public hearings on potential rate increases for several major Connecticut health insurance companies will be held on July 27, Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade announced Tuesday.
Anthem Health Plans Inc., which currently has 34,553 policyholders, is requesting a 6.7 percent increase on individual health plans marketed on and off the state’s health insurance exchange.
“[The proposed] rates take into account other mandates related to the federal law such as guaranteed issue and new ratings rules, minimum actuarial value of 60 percent and taxes and fees,” the proposal summary states. The summary also says the company’s price calculation accounts for the 7.6 percent impact of rising medical costs and increased demand, but also factors in lower claim costs in 2014.
ConnectiCare, which has 34,000 policyholders, is requesting a rate increase of 10.1 percent on individual health insurance policies marketed outside Access Health CT.
The company said the increase accounts for a 8.98 percent change in medical inflation, as well as the changing fees and taxes associated with the Affordable Care Act and the temporary reinsurance program.
Golden Rule Insurance Company, with approximately 2,000 policies, is requesting an 18.5 percent raise of premium rates for individual health policies marketed outside the state’s health insurance exchange.
Because the company only began offering these policies in 2014, Golden Rule Insurance Co. based its request “on the best information that [they] have available about the expected costs.”
Increased premiums needed to cover health care costs, cost shifting from public to private sector as Medicare and Medicaid rates decline, the impact of new technology and fees and taxes associated with the federal Affordable Care Act also influenced their rate request, the company said in their filing.
Because Connecticut does not have any set threshold for rate increases, the finalized increase for each company is up to the discretion of the insurance commissioner.
“These proposed rates will affect more than 70,000 Connecticut policyholders in the 2016 coverage year. I believe it is very important that consumers better understand the regulatory review process and the factors that drive health care costs that ultimately have an effect on their household budgets,” Wade said in a statement.
All the final rate increases will be implemented by Jan. 1, 2016.
“As increasing numbers of people obtain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act — many for the first time — it is essential that the public have greater opportunities to weigh in,” Healthcare Advocate Vicki Veltri said. “I welcome these hearings which will provide a full public disclosure of the facts and factors behind why insurers feel they to need raise rates.”
Wade ordered the public hearing after consulting with Veltri.
The two have an informal agreement following Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s veto of a bill in 2011 that would have mandated a public hearing for any rate increase over 10 percent.
After Malloy vetoed the bill, Veltri and other advocates pressed the Insurance Department to agree to four public hearings per year for rate increases over 15 percent.