The Hartford Courant is reporting that premiums in the CT Health Insurance Exchange – Access Health CT – will be between 10 and 100% higher than current levels. “Thousands of Connecticut residents will have a shock this summer when they see the prices for 2014 medical coverage that they’re counting on buying through the newly formed state health insurance exchange.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. Active purchasing is an important tool used in other states to control costs; most large employers negotiate premiums with insurers to get the best deal. California’s exchange is planning to negotiate premiums and 30 insurers have signaled that they will participate. However the CT exchange’s Board voted down premium negotiations. The legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee has approved a bill directing CT’s exchange to negotiate premiums on behalf of consumers.