A hearing on health insurance coverage will be held Aug.15

Aug. 5—The State Insurance Department will schedule a public hearing on Aug. 15 on the proposal of nine health insurance companies to increase health insurance prices in the year 2023.

The biggest increase would be for insurance markets, where service providers are seeking a 20% increase. In 2022, the company proposed an average increase of 8.6% in individual costs.

The small group increase request for 2023 is 14.8%, compared to 12.9% in 2022. Small group rates are for employers with 50 or fewer employees.

According to the state’s insurance department, the plans that are expected to increase the rates will reach about 206,000 people.

Attorney General William Tong asked the Department of Insurance this week to delay the hearing as the US Senate debates expanding a tax credit that would reduce insurance premiums. The department rejected his request.

“Increasing the tax credit would be a game changer, and it would greatly reduce the need to increase. It would be neglecting our responsibility to consumers to continue to listen to prices built on what seems to be wrong,” Tong said in his statement.

State Rep. Holly Cheeseman, R-East Lyme, who alerted her audience via email this week, said she was glad the department denied Tong’s request for a freeze because “I think everyone who is concerned about these rate increases should be there for one, express their concerns.” , ask their questions, and two, if you’re representing the insurance company, explain what the increase was.”

The insurance companies that plan to raise rates are Aetna, Anthem, Cigna, ConnectiCare Benefits Inc., ConnectiCare Inc., ConnectiCare Insurance Company Inc., Oxford Health Insurance, United Healthcare Insurance Company and Oxford Health Plans CT, Inc.

The state’s Department of Insurance said the reasons for the increase in carriers are due to high drug costs, the need for medical care, and the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to “an increase in morbidity.”

“Furthermore, the expected demand for the product has increased in 2022 and the number of infections is expected in 2022,” the department said.

Another major reason for the interest rate request is the end of federal American Rescue Plan Act subsidies.

“I’m sure that providers tell us what they believe the reason for the increase is. But the explanation for the increase in the cost of health insurance is a crime,” said Cheeseman. “Insurance companies blame hospital chains and government liability. Hospital managers blame insurance companies and drug providers. Drug providers blame pharmacy benefit managers… The people who are affected by this disaster are the people who pay the bills.”

“If you don’t have access to the state and Medicaid, have an employer, or you’re on welfare, you’re paying more for health care, and if you have a small business, you’re seeing your costs go through the roof,” added Cheeseman.

The state insurance department has the authority to approve, deny or modify insurance companies’ applications. The department hopes to make a decision in September.

The case of Aug. 15 at 9 o’clock will be held in person at the National Assembly and online. It can be viewed publicly on CT-N. People can submit questions and comments, and they can speak virtually in a Zoom meeting, but they must email cid.RateFilings@ct.gov with their name and comments by Aug, 12. Those who want to speak in person at the event can register on Aug. 15 at the Legislative Office Building from 8:30 am.

s.spinella@theday.com