CT health insurers seek to increase small group rates by 14.8% in 2023

Health insurers planning to offer group and individual health plans in Connecticut in 2023 are asking for bigger double-digit increases than a year ago.

The annual rate filing crop for fully insured traditional plans, which cover 206,186 people in the state, contained an average requested increase of 14.8% for the small group market (employers with less than 50 workers) and 20.4% for the individual market.

Annual claims, which are subject to approval (and potential modification by) the Connecticut Department of Insurance, last year were 12.9% for small group plans and 8.6% for individual plans.

The CID ultimately decided that the 2022 increases were not justified and reduced them to an average of 6.7% for small groups and 5.6% for individuals.

Newly requested increases for small group policies taking effect Jan. 1, 2023 range from 3.6% to 29.3%, while proposed increases for individual plans range from 8.6% to 25.2%, a said the CID.

The 13 rate filings from nine health insurers cover policies both off and on the state insurance exchange, Access Health CT.

One insurer that did not submit new rate applications for 2023 was Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, which announced in April that it was exiting the state’s commercial health insurance market. The society had approximately 12,000 business members in the state.

The CID said the carriers attributed the rate increases to a number of factors, including rising health care costs, driven by the cost of prescription drugs and increased demand for medical services; the impact of new laws mandating coverage for various conditions such as diabetes treatments; and the impacts of COVID-19, in particular the increase in health issues experienced by some people that have delayed care during the pandemic.

CID Commissioner Andrew N. Mais will issue a final decision on the applications in September. The department will hold an information hearing on the requested rate increases in early August, he said.

“As part of the powers granted to this department, we will closely review these filings to ensure that the rates requested comply with state law,” Mais said.

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