Health insurance industry calls for 12.9% hike in small group rates in 2022

The 10 health insurers that plan to offer group and individual health plans in Connecticut in 2022 are asking for bigger increases than a year ago.

The annual crop of rate filings for fully insured traditional plans, which cover 222,700 people in the state, contained an average requested increase of 12.9% for the small group market (employers with less than 50 workers) and 8.6% for the individual market.

Annual claims, which are subject to approval (and potential modification by) the Connecticut Department of Insurance, were 11.3% and 6.3%, respectively, last year.

The CID ultimately decided that the 2021 increases were not justified and reduced them to an average of 4.1% for small groups and 0.01% for individuals.

Newly requested increases for small group policies taking effect Jan. 1, 2022 range from 7.4% to 15.8%, while proposed increases for individual plans range from 5.1% to 12.3%, a said the CID.

The deposits cover policies both off and on the state insurance exchange, Access Health CT.

CID said carriers attributed the increases to a number of factors, including rising health care costs and demand for medical services, the impact of new laws mandating coverage for various conditions, and the impacts of COVID-19.

The pandemic, carriers told CID, is expected to result in higher morbidity and claims severity due to delays in medical care received. A wave of pent-up demand for health care is expected to hit in the coming year, as is an expected rise in behavioral illnesses.

CID Commissioner Andrew N. Mais will issue a final decision on the application in September.

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

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