Health insurance rate claims described as ‘excessive’ by some – NBC Connecticut
Some members of the public told insurance regulators on Tuesday that there was no reason to increase health insurance rates in 2022. Health insurers have defended the rate demands.
âI’m paying $ 43,200 for a family of four with $ 5,000 deductibles,â Norwalk’s Diane Keefe told insurance regulators Tuesday.
âIt’s unbearable. Families are suffering and there should be no increase, âshe said.
Keefe was just one of the few people to call on insurance regulators to reject the average 9% to 13% rate hikes for health insurance companies.
âI have had a small group policy for Anthem for nine years. Anthem is now back asking you to increase my bonuses by an additional 12%, âsaid Dan Pflug of Easton.
â$ 33,000 is too much for an average family’s health insurance and you have the power to stop this freight train,â he added.
The Connecticut Department of Insurance is reviewing the proposed rate increases.
“We will make the final decision to approve, reject or modify the request in September,” Insurance Commissioner Andrew Mais said.
“Anthem is asking for a 12.3% rate increase for our individual plans which cover approximately 29,000 members and an 11.5% average rate increase for our small group plans,” said Steve Ribeiro, regional vice president sales for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
He said there are a number of things behind the rate request.
âOne of the key factors driving up overall costs is the ever-increasing cost of prescription drugs. Especially new drugs and those that treat serious conditions, âhe said.
Other factors include the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.
âIncluding vaccination, testing, treatment and changes in practice habits,â he added.
But consumers say they’re not convinced.
âThe families and small businesses in Connecticut that will foot the bill on these tariffs have no official voice in this hearing,â said Jill Zorn, senior policy analyst at the Universal Healthcare Foundation.
This is because the Department of Insurance cannot take into consideration the issue of affordability. They only need to determine if the rates are adequate and fair to pay the claims.
“If it comes to the solvency of insurers, you are concerned that the double-digit rate hikes requested by most insurers for 2022 are clearly excessive,” she added.