Health Insurance Corporations Request Average 20.4% Rate Hike For 2023

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Insurance Department chart of rate hike requests for medical insurance plans offered on Connecticut’s medical insurance exchange. Credit: Screengrab / Connecticut Insurance Department

Nine insurance firms have asked the state Insurance Department to approve double-digit rate hikes for individual and small business medical insurance plans that start in 2023. 

The proposed average individual rate request is a 20.4% increase in comparison with 8.6% in 2022.

The department “has received 13 rate filings from nine health insurers for plans that can be offered on the person and small group market, each on and off the state-sponsored exchange, Access Health CT,” Insurance Department Commissioner Andrew Mais said. “Working throughout the authority granted to this department, we are going to closely examine these filings to be certain that the requested rates are consistent with state law.”

ConnectiCare Advantages is proposing a median 24.1% increase for its individual plans offered on the exchange. 

Insurance Department chart of rate hike requests for off-exchange health insurance plans in Connecticut.Insurance Department chart of rate hike requests for off-exchange medical insurance plans in Connecticut. Credit: Screengrab / Connecticut Insurance Department

The corporate argues it’s since the demand for services has increased. That factor is anticipated to have a projected impact of 12.1% on the insurer’s claims costs, based on their filing. In addition they indicate the subsidies offered under the American Rescue Plan Act put in place in 2021 are expected to go away in 2023. They are saying they expect fewer customers to be qualified for the advanced premium tax credit and so they expect consumers will leave the person marketplace. 

Consequently of the departure of shoppers, the insurance company expects the typical morbidity of the chance pool to go up and result in an unfavorable impact on the 2023 rates. 

Greater than 75,000 individuals at the moment are covered by that plan. The corporate can also be requesting a 23.6% increase for its individual plans marketed outside the exchange. The corporate can also be requesting a 22.9% increase for its on-exchange small business plans and a 24.5% increase for small group plans marketed outside Access Health CT. 

Anthem Health Advantages, the opposite insurer that gives plans on Connecticut’s exchange, is asking for a median 8.6% increase for its on-exchange individual plans. 

The corporate says about 9.2% of that increase could be attributed to medical cost inflation, provider contracting changes, and a rise in demand for those medical services. The plan currently covers about 27,698 individuals. 

Anthem is requesting a median increase of three.6% on small group health plans for employers with 50 or fewer staff.

Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company filed a request to extend rates a median of 19.64% on small group policies. Oxford Health Insurance requested a 13.4% increase for health plans utilized by 50 or fewer staff and a 15.7% increase for HMO plans utilized by 50 or fewer staff. 

UnitedHealthCare Insurance company requested a median rate increase of 13.9% for small group plans. And Aetna Life Insurance Co. submitted a rate filing for a rise of 14.1% for small group indemnity plans that provide major medical and prescription drug coverage for employers with 50 or fewer staff.

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and HPHC each decided to depart the Connecticut market and can not offer recent business small group health plans. They may only renew existing plans through the top of their appropriate plan years.

Sen. Matt Lesser, co-chair of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, said these proposals are “jaw dropping.” He said they may have a serious impact on small businesses and individuals and he desires to be certain that the Attorney General and the Healthcare Advocate are involved in the speed review process. 

Attorney General William Tong is requesting a public hearing on the speed proposals because they exceed 10%. 

“Healthcare costs and insurance premiums are already unaffordable for a lot of Connecticut families, businesses and individuals, and these double-digit rate hikes demand rigorous scrutiny,” Tong said. “The Department of Insurance has previously agreed to carry public rate hearings on any rate increase exceeding 10 percent, and that transparency is definitely needed now. We cannot simply allow insurers to say costs and claims without our own independent evaluation and review.” 

Lesser agreed.  

“They owe the general public a proof and so they should provide one in the event that they wish to get any rate increase,” Lesser said. 

So far as solutions go, the Connecticut General Assembly offered few if any answers this session about the way to solve the issue of escalating health care costs.

“The system is fundamentally broken,” Lesser said. “The speed increases they’re proposing today is proof positive the market isn’t working.” 

He added: “This outrageous proposal is proof they have to be rescued from themselves.”

The Insurance Department will review the proposals and make a final decision — likely in September — for rates that may take effect on Jan. 1.  There’s a 30-day public comment period that starts today.

Click here for the speed proposals and to comment on them.

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