Health insurance companies in Connecticut request double-digit price hikes

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Your health insurance could go up by around 12% next year. Connecticut attorney general William Tong calls the price hikes “exorbitant”.

In total, there are 10 filings made by 9 health insurers for plans that cover around 188,000 people.

The proposed average individual rate of request is a 12.4% increase. The proposed average small group rate request is a 14.8 % increase.

“What I’m worried about is people are going to drop off their insurance or they are going to other plans that may be more affordable but provide less coverage,” said Tong.

Tong plans to speak out against the rate hikes, and you can also provide input. The Department of Insurance is taking public comment now.

The filing submitted by ConnectiCare includes a list of reasons for raising prices. The first couple of reasons have to do with the costs related to the care of COVID-19 and how the pandemic impacted the healthcare system. The filing also cites two recent Connecticut laws as reasons for raising prices. The first was a law that required health insurance companies to cover breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility screenings. The other law requires health insurers to cover 2 mental health exams per year for kids.

Tong says he is angry insurance companies are using these laws as reasons for asking people to pay more.

“What we’re talking about is screening for breast and ovarian cancer and for children’s mental health services. I mean give me a break. Everybody believes that should be offered in an insurance plan, don’t blame insurance for an increase of 12,13,14 percent on healthcare that people need for their families,” said Tong.

ConnectiCare public relations manager Lauren La Chance provided the following statement:

“ConnectiCare has requested a rate increase for our individual health insurance plans for 2024. We remain extremely mindful of the impact that rate increases have on our members. Our proposed rates are determined by medical and pharmacy cost trends and our members’ need for care. We are committed to supporting the state’s health insurance marketplace and providing Connecticut residents with high-quality health plans, as we have for over 40 years.”

While the attorney general is against the rate hikes, it is ultimately not his decision. The Department of Insurance will make a final ruling on the proposals in early September. The department says it does not publicly comment on rate requests during their review.