• Thu. Sep 21st, 2023

News Eyeo

All Important News

CT imposes limits on rate increases for health insurance plans on the exchange


Sep 8, 2023

State regulators announced on Friday that they have reduced the rate hikes health insurers requested for 2024 plans on Connecticut’s Access CT marketplace. While customers will still face an increase in premiums, the approved rates are lower than what insurers initially asked for. Individuals will experience a 9.4 percent rate hike, down from the 12.4 percent originally proposed, while small-group customers will see a 7.4 percent increase instead of the 14.8 percent requested.

This decision by the state comes following a strong backlash against health insurers from lawmakers, patient advocates, and Attorney General William Tong during a public hearing last month. Insurers such as Anthem, Cigna, and ConnectiCare were criticized for prioritizing profits over affordability after proposing average premium hikes of 20.4 percent for 2024 policies on the health insurance exchange. Tong commended the state insurance regulators for pushing back on the rate increases, acknowledging their efforts to address the issue of affordability.

However, Tong believes that the approved rates are still too high and “deeply unaffordable.” He argues that insurers have little incentive to control healthcare costs or premiums, placing a heavy burden on Connecticut families and small businesses. Tong and other state officials argued that the proposed rates were unattainable for many of the approximately 188,000 individuals currently covered by exchange insurers.

Health insurers justified their proposed rate hikes by citing rising medical and drug costs, including increased hospital prices and the use of expensive new medications like obesity drugs. Insurance Commissioner Andrew Mais supported their concerns when announcing the higher rates, pointing out annual increases of 7 to 9 percent in medical costs and 11 to 19 percent in drug costs. These increases are primarily driven by higher healthcare utilization, greater disease severity, and advanced-stage treatments.

The state regulators examined ten filings from nine companies when determining the new rates, which limit insurers’ profits to 0.75 percent. Reducing the rate increases will save customers $96.2 million, according to Mais. The new rates will apply to plans compliant with the Affordable Care Act, both on and off Connecticut’s Access CT exchange. Open enrollment for the 2024 coverage year begins on November 1st. A significant percentage of individuals enrolled through the Access CT exchange in 2022 received financial assistance, including subsidies provided under the American Rescue Plan Act.

By Editor

Leave a Reply