CT exchange premiums still fourth highest in US, negotiating premiums could help

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 A new analysis by the Urban Institute comparing health insurance exchange premiums across the US finds that CT’s 2015 premiums are the fourth highest in the US, as they were last year. The study compares average monthly premiums for 40-year old, non-smoking state residents — $348 in CT. Like last year, our premiums are higher than all states except Vermont, Alaska, and Wyoming. While CT’s premiums are high, they grew by only 0.6% over last year; nationally average premiums grew by 2.9%.  Premiums for Hartford residents averaged $321 monthly, a 1.5% increase over last year. Negotiating premiums for affordability is an important tool used by large employers and other state exchanges to lower premiums for consumers. But CT exchange and legislative policymakers have repeatedly rejected efforts to negotiate premiums on behalf of consumers.