February 21, 2024

Health insurance companies recently submitted a shocking double digit health insurance rate hike request to the Connecticut Insurance Department (CID) for administrative approval. These proposals averaged more than 20 percent for individual and small business health insurance plans that start in 2023.

These proposed rate increases are staggering and infuriating. We need real legislative action and market solutions. Families and hard-working small businesses are already being crushed by historic inflation, COVID impacted challenges, tax increases, and living in a state they love but is growing more unaffordable by the day. Overall affordability is a crisis in our state and this crushing health insurance rate increase will exponentially add to that.

The Affordable Care Act promised affordable, accessible, quality health care for everyone. Here we are a decade later and that promise has not been fulfilled. Even more troubling is that the cost of health care insurance has skyrocketed to unaffordable levels.

this year, Senate Republicans once again proposed a plan to rein in out-of-control health care costs. Access Health CT‘s own estimates show our plan reduces premiums by $6,475 per year, or $540 per month for the average family. But the leading Democrat on the legislature Insurance Committee refused to even hold a vote on that plan. They outright admit to blocking this plan for affordable health care. The same Democratic lawmakers who say they are outraged today also said there was no need for state action earlier this year because of federal subsidies. Now the subsidies are going away, and families and small businesses are about to suffer because of that inaction.

I want to highlight the filing summary for ConnectiCare Benefits plans, “The expanded subsidies under the American Rescue Plan Act put in place in 2021 are expected to go away in 2023. There will be less individual consumers who will be qualified for Federal Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTC). We expect members to leave the individual ACA market who were previously insured, and those members are likely to be healthier than the population who will stay in the individual ACA market. As a result, we expect the average morbidity of the single risk pool to go up and therefore lead to an unfavorable impact on 2023 rates.”

Oxford Health Insurance filing summary attributed rising costs in part to “Cost shifting from the public sector to the private sector — Reimbursements from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to hospitals do not generally cover all the cost of care. The cost difference is being shifted to private health plans. Hospitals typically make up this reimbursement shortfall by charging private health plans more.”

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