State reports insurers looking for rate rises of up to 33.8%

Insurers cite uncertainty coming from current legislation as a major risk

State reports insurers looking for rate rises of up to 33.8%

Life & Health

By Allie Sanchez

Connecticut health insurers are already covering their bases by proposing significant rate increases as the current system faces great uncertainty with the passing of the Republican version of a new health insurance law in the lower house.

Rates could skyrocket by as much as 52% for some policyholders, according to reports.

“Many of the changes proposed on the federal level could affect the (rates),” local media outlet ctpost quoted Patricia Baker as saying. Baker is the president and chief executive of the Connecticut Health Foundation, which aims to provide improved healthcare access to low income individuals.

ctpost also reported that the state’s insurance department has said that 10 health insurance companies have already filed for rate increases in the individual and small group markets ranging from 3.6% to 33.8%. The filings will apply in 2018 and will cover almost 300,000 people.

Get to know the top 10 health insurance companies in the US.

Quoting a statement from insurance commissioner Katharine Wade, the report said the filings reflect “increased medical and prescription drug costs along with higher utilization, as well as uncertainty in the marketplace.”

Among the insurance firms that have filed for increases is Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. The firm is proposing a 33.8 % rate increase in individual health plans marketed on and off the state’s health insurance exchange. It also filed for an average 32% increase for small group plans, specifically employers with 50 workers or less.

The firm said in a statement that these increases are based on the assumption that the government will continue to fund cost sharing reduction subsidies.

“We are notifying state officials that if we do not have certainty that (cost sharing reduction subsidies) will be funded for 2018 by early June, we will need to evaluate appropriate adjustments to our filings such as requesting additional rate increases, eliminating certain product offerings or exiting certain Individual ACA compliant markets altogether,” the Anthem statement was quoted as saying.

US Congress recently passed a law proposing radical changes to the current American health insurance system. Among its provisions is the slashing of financial support for cost sharing reductions which help keep premiums down in the Obamacare exchanges. The senate has yet to approve the proposed law.

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