OHA: CID to hold rate review hearings for 2018 insurance plans
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June 2, 2017



CID Invites Public Comment Regarding CT Individual and Small Group Plan Rate Filings



Connecticut’s health insurance carriers recently filed requests to dramatically increase the premiums they charge for health insurance, with the state’s largest carrier for instance proposing average increases of over 33 percent.  There are several ways for members of the public to comment directly on these proposed premium increases during the Connecticut Insurance Department’s formal rate-setting process that concludes on June 14, 2017.  In addition, after that time, the Office of the Healthcare Advocate will be organizing several forums around the state to give consumers a way to weigh in on the broader issue of high medical costs and the challenges of affording healthcare. 


On May 1, 2017, health insurance carriers doing business in Connecticut submitted a total of 14 rate requests applicable to health insurance policies for calendar year 2018.  Each year, insurance carriers that intend to sell individual and small group health insurance policies in Connecticut must submit to the Connecticut Insurance Department a detailed summary of each policy, including a detailed analysis of how they calculated the premiums and cost sharing (deductibles, co-pays, etc) for each policy, the benefits to be provided and a review of how each policy complies with various legal and regulatory requirements.  A summary of the requested rates is available here - https://www.ct.gov/cid/lib/cid/RateChart2018.pdf.  In addition, each of these pending rate requests can be viewed in its entirety here - https://ct.gov/cid/cwp/view.asp?a=4059&Q=585260.


The Connecticut Insurance Department must review each filing to determine whether each policy complies with state and federal mandates, and to evaluate whether the proposed premiums are inadequate, excessive or unfairly discriminatory.  In this context, the terms “inadequate” and “excessive” refers to the amount of premiums (rates) charged relative to the anticipated amount of benefits to be paid.  Under current law, the excessiveness calculation does not include, and the Insurance Department does not consider, the relative affordability of rates for individual consumers.  Answers to additional Frequently Asked Questions regarding the rate review process can be found here: https://www.ct.gov/cid/lib/cid/FAQs_-_Rate_Filing_reviews_and_approval.pdf


While the scope of the Insurance Department’s review is limited in nature by Connecticut law, the Office of the Healthcare Advocate and Insurance Department are committed to ensuring that all Connecticut residents have an opportunity to make their voice heard, and to share their stories about their experiences with their health insurance.  Accordingly, the Insurance Department has provided three options for submitting testimony about your experience with your insurance plan. 


You may submit your comments online, with the necessary form located on each filing’s webpage.  Simply navigate to the filing you want to view and click Select.  You will be directed to a page that contains all of the documents that have been submitted, and has a section that allows you to enter any comments for submission and inclusion in the record for that filing only.  In addition, you may submit written comments by mailing them to: 

Connecticut Insurance Department, P.O. Box 816, Hartford, CT 06142


All written comments must be submitted by July 1, 2017 to be considered.


You may also provide public comment in person at one of two public hearings that the Insurance Department is holding on June 14th.  The Anthem hearing, with an average premium increase request of 33.8%, and a range of 18.9 - 52.2% (for individual plans on and off the Exchange), will be begin at 9:00 AM.  The Connecticare request, with a revised average premium increase request of 17.5%, and a range of 10.6 - 21.1% (for individual plans on the exchange) will be the subject of a hearing at 1:00 PM that same day.  The public is welcome and encouraged to attend and participate in these hearings.  Parking is available in the Morgan Street Parking Garage, located across the street from the Insurance Department, and parking will be validated.


Finally, apart from the formal rate review process that is conducted by the Insurance Department, the Office of the Healthcare Advocate is in the process of planning several forums focused on the broader issue of healthcare costs, of which healthcare insurance premiums are just one part.  These forums or listening sessions will be held across the state at times and locations that are more convenient to attend.  In light of the fact that issues of affordability are not among the factors that can be considered during the healthcare insurance rate-setting process, our intent is to provide a forum for you to share your experiences regarding healthcare affordability, as well as to gather your stories to help inform state and federal policymakers, and identify possible legislative initiatives to make the healthcare system more reflective of the needs and challenges facing the citizens of Connecticut.  When these plans are finalized, information will be posted on this website, so check back soon.


Content Last Modified on 6/2/2017 4:08:30 PM