Health plans

Insurers seek higher average rates on individual health plans – InsuranceNewsNet

Insurance companies that sell policies from time to time Connecticut The Affordable Care Act swap targets an average 20.4% increase in individual health plans next year, alarming advocates who fear people are forgoing insurance because they can’t pay .

Requests for rate hikes were released by the state Insurance Department Friday. On small group plans, carriers are asking for an average increase of 14.8%.

The requested increases are significantly higher than those requested last year for 2022 health policies. In 2021, carriers requested an average increase of 8.6% on individual plans and 12.9% on small plans. groups.

“It’s breathtaking,” said Lynne IdeProgram Manager for Communications Outreach and Engagement Connecticut Universal Health Care Foundation. “Looking at these rate requests, the ranges are off the charts.

“Our big concern right now is, coupled with inflation and the fallout from COVID, these proposed increases are causing problems. Our concern is that people will look at this and decide to go without health coverage, because they just can’t afford it.”

“My jaw hit the ground, obviously,” added Ted Doolittle, the state health care advocate. “I am deeply concerned that people are going without coverage because of these high prices. It is incumbent on insurance companies and providers to explain to people in the state why this is unavoidable and that it is not there is no alternative.”

Three insurers sell policies on the stock exchange: Anthem Health Plans, CTCare Benefits Inc.and ConnectiCare Insurance Company Inc.

Anthem asked for an average increase of 8.6% for individual policies covering 27,698 people. The proposed changes range from a decrease of 1.8% to an increase of 16.1%, depending on the plan.

The company also sought an average upside of 3.6% on small group policies that cover 19,271 residents. Suggested changes range from a decrease of 1.2% to an increase of 26.3%.

CTCare Benefits requested an average increase of 24.1% on individual plans which cover 75,003 people. The proposed changes range from an increase of 18.7% to 33.2%, depending on the policy.

He also looked for an average increase of 22.9% on small group plans that cover 3,476 residents (increases range from 20% to 28.9%).

ConnectiCare Insurance Company, which only sells individual policies on the exchange, asked for an average increase of 25.2% for plans covering 8,782 people. The suggested increases range from 17.1% to 32.2%.

The proposed increases “don’t seem to make sense,” Ide said. “Why would one carrier ask on average 8.6% in the individual market and 3.6% in the small group market, and the other carrier ask 24% and 22% in these two markets? figures taken from a hat.”

Proposed increases for off-exchange plans are also varied.

Kimberly Kanna ConnectiCare spokeswoman said medical and pharmaceutical costs were among the factors driving the demand for higher rates.

“We remain acutely aware of the impact rate increases have on our members and strive to keep our plans as fair as possible in the reality of today’s healthcare environment,” said Kan in a statement. “Our proposed rates are based on several factors, including medical and pharmaceutical cost trends, as well as the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on our members’ use of services, including obtaining deferred care. Additionally , legislative and regulatory environments continue to present the market with challenges beyond the company’s control, including the loss of enhanced advanced premium tax credits provided by the American Rescue Plan Act expiring in 2022, and benefits imposed by the state.

A spokesperson for Anthem could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Department of Insurance will hold a hearing in early August where insurers will have the opportunity to testify about the reasoning behind their proposed increases, and the public will also be able to weigh in. The hearing date has not yet been set.

In addition to carriers, Doolittle said pharmaceutical company officials and medical providers should be present and provide their rationale for rising costs.

“We are in a medical cost crisis,” he said. “The tariff review process is the only opportunity, the only public forum, that the people of Connecticut you have to ask ‘Why? Why are these hospital prices so high? Why are these drug prices so high? The premiums simply reflect the high underlying medical costs.”

“Health care costs and insurance premiums are already unaffordable for many Connecticut families, businesses and individuals, and these double-digit rate hikes demand careful scrutiny,” the attorney general said. Guillaume Tong added in a press release. “The Insurance Department previously agreed to hold public hearings on any rate increases above 10%, and that transparency is certainly needed now. We simply cannot allow insurers to assert costs and claims without our own independent analysis and review.”

The public can also submit comments online. Comments can be submitted here (under each policy, click the “select” button and fill in the “comments” box, then click “submit comment”).

Insurance department officials will make a decision on pricing for the 2023 plans later this year, usually in September. Last year, although carriers requested an average increase of 8.6% on individual plans, the department instead granted an average increase of 5.6%.

Open registration for Health Policies 2023 begins November, 1st.

Jenna Carlesso is a reporter for The Connecticut Mirror ( Copyright 2022 © The Connecticut Mirror.