CT Insurers want enormous rate hikes in 2017

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Insurers in CT have asked the Dept. of Insurance for permission to raise premiums significantly next year, both on the exchange, AccessHealthCT, and off. Insurers want to raise individual AccessHealthCT premiums on average by 26.8% (Anthem with 56,700 covered lives), 14.3% (ConnectiCare Benefits covering 47,597 lives) and 12.21% (HealthyCT with 16,274 covered lives). Those averages cover a range of a 39.8% to 13.0% for individual plans. Insurers blame rising health care costs and expiring federal transitional reinsurance provisions. Several important points – in the past, the Insurance Dept. has lowered insurers’ rate increases, many people are eligible for federal income-based subsidies to help with the cost of exchange premiums, and the exchange has indicated an interest in negotiating with insurers to bring premiums down. Individuals in off-exchange plans cannot access federal subsides; insurers have requested average increases between 6.6% and 27.9% for those plans. Small groups are facing similar increases, both on and off the exchange. The Insurance Dept. will hold hearings on the increases August 3 and 4 and is accepting public comment now.