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Once again CT health insurance companies are asking the CT Insurance Department for permission to charge very large premium increases, more than 20% in many cases, according to the Hartford Courant. Predictably, insurers are blaming rising medical costs and national health reform. Members of CT’s Congressional delegation and the Attorney General are objecting. The largest increases would fall on new businesses and individuals. CID has not yet ruled on the increases. In their applications, the insurers outline how much they believe various provisions in national reform will raise premiums above the effect of rising medical costs. Anthem estimates that requiring coverage for children with pre-existing conditions will raise premiums 4.8% and removing annual caps will cost 22.9% more. The federal government and independent analysts estimate the impact of national reform on premiums for next year at 1 to 2%. I hope that someone at CID remembers these estimates and looks back next year to see if they were realistic. Especially as they consider next year’s proposed increases.
Ellen Andrews