Expect Sharp Premium Increases from CT Insurance Carriers in 2017

Over the summer, the Connecticut Insurance Department has been haggling with the state’s insurance carriers about significant rate increases requested for 2017. While the department denied most initial premium hikes, customers should expect rate increases in the double digits, according to a report from the CT Mirror.
Those affected include plans sold through individual and small group markets. After the Insurance Department approved 13 policies, those with individual plans should expect up to a 25-percent jump and those on small group plans should prepare for a 13-percent increase.
Yet, the Connecticut Insurance Department rejected and still hasn’t approved three requests for rate hikes: Two from Anthem and one from ConnectiCare. Both have since been told to recalculate their rates.
For the two Anthem plans, the insurance carrier initially requested a 26.8-percent jump for individual policies. This would affect 56,700 individuals, including those getting insurance through Access Health CT. For another 42,000 customers, Anthem wanted to increase premiums for small group policies by 11.6 percent. ConnectiCare also proposed to increase their premiums 43.3 percent for individual policies for 37,142 customers. For these three, the Insurance Department claimed the requests went beyond medical inflation trends.
In total, the approved changes affect roughly 300,000 individuals in the state.
“The Department conducted thorough actuarial reviews on each rate request and, as in years past, was able to reduce some of the proposed increases,” Insurance Department Commissioner Katharine L. Wade told the press. “However, the Connecticut market is experiencing what other states have seen this year — rising health care costs, increased demand for services, and significantly higher prescription drug costs. Therefore, in some cases, higher rates were actuarially justified.”
Added to Wade’s statement, other factors are behind these increases. Along with medical inflation, the stabilization payments made to carriers since the start of the Affordable Care Act come to an end in 2017. Plus, certain carriers are expecting higher medical costs for customers purchasing Access Health CT plans.
Are you concerned your premiums could be too high or that your plan may no longer be available through the state’s health insurance marketplace? To explore other options, give us a call at 203.729.5261.