Do you buy your own health insurance? Your 2020 proposed rates are here

By Rosana Ferraro |

It’s that time of year again: when health insurance companies submit their proposed rates for individual and small group plans in Connecticut. Known as rate review, insurance companies must submit their proposed rates for 2020 to the Connecticut Insurance Department for approval before they can sell plans for next year.

Most companies are asking for, on average, rate increases.

Our resource on rate review explains rate review and who it applies to, plus includes some frequently asked questions – check it out: What is rate review and why does it matter to you?

Who does this effect?

The rates filed on July 8, 2019 are for individual and small group health insurance plans to be sold in 2020.

Individual health insurance plans are sold both on and off the state health insurance exchange (Access Health CT) and are purchased by people who aren’t eligible for other types of insurance. Someone may not have insurance through their job, and may not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, so they would purchase insurance on their own.

Small group plans are plans for businesses with 50 employees or less. If you work at or own a small business and get your health insurance through the business, then potential rate increases will affect you, as well.

What do the proposed rates look like this year?

You can check out the proposed rates for all the individual and small group health insurance plans here at the Connecticut Insurance Department.

One reason rates are being raised? There is now a federally mandated health insurer tax that starts again in 2020. Rates increased about 3% based on the insurance companies having to pay that tax in the coming year, according to the insurers.

Are these rates final?

No – these are only the proposed rates. After reviewing the rates and conducting a hearing, the Connecticut Insurance Department will have to approve the rates – but they may not approve the rate requests health insurance companies have put in. What could happen? The Connecticut Insurance Department could:

  • Approve the rates as requested
  • Approve lower rates than requested
  • Approve higher rates than requested

The Connecticut Insurance Department said it will release final rate decisions for the individual and small group market in September.

Important dates:

August 9, 2019 – Deadline for submitting public comment

If you want to submit public comment on a rate request for specific plans – especially if the plan is the one you are enrolled in – the public comment period began July 12, 2019 and lasts for at least 30 days, so getting it in by Friday, August 9, 2019 is your best bet.

Here’s our Guide to Submitting Public Comment Online for Insurance Rate Review for some help.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019 at 9am – Informational hearing on rate filings

This year’s informational hearing on rate filings will be focusing on the private health insurance plans sold on the exchange to individuals and small businesses.

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