What to know about insurance rate increases in Connecticut

Insurance companies that sell policies on and off Connecticut’s Affordable Care Act exchange stunned advocates in July when they asked for an average increase of 20.4% on next year’s individual health plans.

The proposed rate hikes, published by the state’s insurance department last month, also includes a recommended increase of 14.8% on small group health plans.

The requests are substantially higher than what insurers sought last year for 2022 health policies. Carriers in 2021 asked for an average hike of 8.6% on individual plans and 12.9% on small group plans.

“It’s jaw dropping,” Lynne Ide, program lead for communications outreach and engagement at the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, said last month. “Looking at these rate requests, the ranges are off the charts.

“Our big concern right now is, coupled with inflation and the fallout from COVID, these proposed increases spell trouble. Our concern is that people will take a look at this and decide to go without health coverage, because they just can’t afford it.”

The insurance department is weighing the requests and is expected to issue a decision in September. Before that happens, the public will have a chance to make comments on the suggested rate hikes.

The insurance department has scheduled a public hearing for Aug. 15, beginning at 9 am at the Legislative Office Building (300 Capital Ave. in Hartford).

The public can testify in person or virtually. Sign up for in-person testimony opens at 8:30 am at the Legislative Office Building on the day of the hearing.

The cutoff to sign up for virtual testimony is today (Aug. 12). Anyone who wants to testify virtually can sign up by sending an email to [email protected] with their name and written remarks by noon.

Representatives of the insurance companies will be allotted time to explain

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