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Insurers in Connecticut request rate hikes of 15.2 to 33.8% on individual plans

Two out of 10 insurers file for plans on the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

Ten health insurers in Connecticut have submitted rate increase requests between 3.6 and 33.8 percent for 14 filings for 2018 individual and small group plans.

Two insurers filed rate increase requests for products to be sold on the state's health insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act.

[Also: As conservatives push for dropping 'essential benefits,' experts argue whether change would lower premiums]

ConnectiCare Benefits filed rates for individual health plans to be marketed through the state's health insurance marketplace, Access Health CT. It asked for a 15.2 percent rate increase, according to the Connecticut Insurance Department.

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Anthem filed a rate of 33.8 percent increase for individual health plans marketed on and off the state's health insurance exchange.

Anthem Health Plans also asked for a rate increase of 31.6 percent  on small group health plans for employers with 50 or fewer workers.

[Also: Minnesota Premium Subsidy Program cuts health insurance premiums by 25%]

ConnectiCare also filed to have a new small group plan that would be marketed through Access Health CT.

Key drivers to the request for an increase in premiums include the cost of prescription drugs, a higher demand for medical services, a deteriorating claims risk pool experience and the return of the federal health insurance tax, which accounts for 2-3 percent of the premium increase, the insurers said in their filings.

"Carriers have filed to take into consideration the perceived lack of strong enforcement of the individual mandate, the lack of stability of the risk adjustment mechanism and the evolving participation of carriers in the market," said Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade.

In rate requests for products not sold through the exchange market, UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company requested an average 3.6 percent increase for small group plans.

[Also: As conservatives push for dropping 'essential benefits,' experts argue whether change would lower premiums]

Aetna wants an average increase of 19.4 percent for small group indemnity plans off-exchange that provide major medical and prescription drug coverage for employers with 50 or fewer workers.

ConnectiCare Insurance Company filed a request to increase rates an average of 10 percent on small group policies, off-exchange.

ConnectiCare Insurance wants a 26.3 percent rate increase on individuals plans sold outside of the state sponsored health insurance exchange.

Oxford Health Insurance filed a request for a 15.4 percent increase for health plans off-exchange used by employers with 50 or fewer workers.

Oxford Health Plans filed a rate increase of 11 percent for HMO plans off-exchange used by employers with 50 or fewer workers.

HPHC Insurance Company applied for an average increase of 17.3 percent on small group health care indemnity plans off-exchange used by employers who have 50 or fewer workers.

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of Connecticut asked for a rate increase of 10.3 percent for small group HMO plans marketed outside of Access Health CT.

ConnectiCare asked for a rate increase of 8.8 percent on certain small group HMO policies used by employers with 50 or fewer workers and currently cover 48 employees and their dependents.

ConnectiCare also submitted a rate request of 22 percent on individual health plans or solo products, off-exchange.

The carriers have until May 15 to make adjustments. Public hearings will held on June 14.

"In the 2018 rates we are seeing claims experience that reflects increased medical and prescription drug costs along with higher utilization as well as uncertainty in the marketplace," Wade said. "I will continue to work across the Administration and with our Congressional delegation to advocate for market stability for 2018 and beyond to protect Connecticut consumers."

Twitter: @SusanJMorse