As health insurers request double-digit rate increases, Connecticut's elected leaders sound off
State insurance officials are seeking public input at a hearing Monday regarding proposed double-digit rate increases filed by health insurers for insurance on Connecticut's federal Affordable Care Act exchange.
In advance of the meeting, Connecticut elected leaders are sounding off about the hike requests.
At a press conference in Hartford, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal took health insurers to task.
“They don’t need this rate increase,” he said. “They have record profits. Literally, they are shattering past records in their profits.”
The increases would affect more than 200,000 people. Nine health insurers made 13 insurance rate request filings, state officials said.
The Connecticut Insurance Department says the proposed average individual rate increase request is about 20 percent, compared to less than 9 percent the previous year.
Health insurers point to various factors for requesting the rate increases. They cite rising pharmaceutical and medical care costs, as well as increased demand for medical services. They also point to pent-up demand as many people delayed medical care during the early part of the pandemic.
State Sen. Saud Anwar takes issue with the insurers' rationale for the rate increase request.
“The cost of healthcare that is going up, it is not in proportion to what they are asking for,” Anwar told Connecticut Public in an interview.
Anwar said Connecticut families on the financial edge wouldn’t be able to afford the increased rates after paying for rent, utilities, food and other necessities.
“No family can survive in that manner,” he said. “And this is going to be very harmful for the people, the working people in our state."
The insurance department expects to make final rulings in September. Open enrollment begins Nov. 1.
Monday’s meeting starts at 9 a.m. and can be viewed on CT-N, or in-person at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
Explore the insurer's rate request filings here.