After complaining that a 17.4 percent increase in rates wasn’t enough to cover its costs, ConnectiCare, the Farmington-based health insurer announced Tuesday that it will participate in the exchange in 2017.
Michael Wise, president and CEO of ConnectiCare, said that after hearing from state officials, providers, and consumers it “decided to move forward into 2017 as a plan on the exchange at the rates approved by the department.”
He said the company has withdrawn its legal appeals with the court and the Insurance Department and rescinded its termination notice with Access Health CT.
The company currently has nearly 50,000 customers in its exchange-based plans.
The company’s threat to leave the exchange came after insurance regulators finalized its rate request on Sept. 2.
The company originally requested a 14.3 percent rate hike, but on Aug. 23 revised it to 27.1 percent. At the end of last week, regulators approved a range of rate increases for specific plans from 15.4 to 24.8 percent, with an average of 17.4 percent.
The company filed a lawsuit on Sept. 2 in New Britain Superior Court asking the court for a temporary injunction. The court denied that motion and the state’s motion to dismiss. The carrier then asked the Insurance Department to hold an expedited hearing to reconsider its request for a 27.1 percent increase.
As of Tuesday, both the lawsuit and the request for reconsideration have been withdrawn.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said ConnectiCare’s decision is welcome news for residents who depend on the carrier for their health care services.
“Our administration will continue working to ensure that Connecticut remains a leader in implementing an exchange that provides quality, secure, and affordable health care to all of our state’s families,” Malloy said.
Access Health CT CEO James Wadleigh said he’s happy to hear ConnectiCare will remain an option for consumers in 2017.
“The more choices we have to offer our customers, the better off they will be,” Wadleigh said.
Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, who chairs the Access Health CT board of directors, said she too welcomes ConnectiCare’s decision to stay.
“ConnectiCare has been a valuable partner in this effort to build a healthier state, a stronger workforce, and a better marketplace for us all,” Wyman said.
If ConnectiCare had departed, Anthem would have been the only carrier left on the exchange.
Earlier this year, UnitedHealthcare announced it would no longer participate in the exchange and the Insurance Department told HealthyCT, the nonprofit co-op, that it didn’t have enough capital to continue past the end of 2016. HealthyCT has about 40,000 policyholders. UnitedHealthcare had 1,477 Connecticut enrollees.