August 3, 2016
With Connecticut's health insurers submitting proposed rate increases ranging from 6.60 percent to 28.20 percent to the Insurance Department, Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut stresses that affordability for consumers must be considered by the Department when rate hikes are evaluated.
While the Connecticut Insurance Department (CID) will hold public hearings for individual and small group rates for Anthem, ConnectiCare and Aetna health care policies, the CID has claimed that state statute does not direct them to consider consumer affordability standards when deciding if the proposed rate increases will be accepted or if they need to be adjusted.
“We come to the conclusion that affordability must become part of the Departmet’s charge,” said Lynne Ide, director of program and policy at Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, in testimony submitted to the CID. “We need affordability standards against which rate hikes are evaluated. The Department must be charged with looking out for all of us, not only the viability of the insurers.”
In addition to submitting testimony to the CID, the Foundation also delivered hundreds of petition signatures from Connecticut residents who want the state’s regulators to consider what the financial impact will be for everyday people when making decisions.
Connecticut needs to look no further than its neighbor, Rhode Island, where the legislature took the initiative of putting affordability under their insurance department's charge, and the insurance commissioner incorporated affordability into the department's mission.
The CID is holding public rate review hearings on August 3 and 4 for Anthem, ConnectiCare and Aetna health plans.