Proposed premiums for the insurance exchange were due to the insurance dept. Friday and they are up significantly from this year’s premiums, according to CT Mirror. Anthem’s proposed premiums are up 12.5% on average; ConnectiCare’s base rate is up 11.8% for next year. CT’s premiums for this year are the 4th highest in the nation and the highest among state-based exchanges. CID will now review those rates with the limited tools allowed them under law. Maximizing those tools last year CID was able to bring the rates down slightly. In contrast to Anthem and ConnectiCare the rate filing from Healthy CT, filed Monday, includes rates that are 8.9% lower than last year. United Healthcare, new to CT’s exchange, also filed proposed rates.
Unfortunately, as last year, AccessHealthCT will not be reviewing or negotiating to make premiums affordable. AccessHealthCT has refused to review rates and a bill directing them to negotiate with plans to make coverage affordable has died on the House calendar two years in a row. Consumers in states with exchanges that negotiate rates are enjoying more affordable premiums.
It is important to note that the high rates will only affect unsubsidized indivduals and all small business exchange customers who must pay the full premiums. Most AccessHealthCT individual members have incomes that qualify them for premium subsidies – their premiums are based on their incomes and not plan prices. Along with unsubsidized consumers and small businesses, the federal government (which funds the subsidies) will bear the cost of high premiums. AccessHealthCT’s funding is based on a percentage of premiums across the entire market, so their bottom line will benefit from rising premiums and their decision not to negotiate rates.