by Rosana Garcia
Health insurance premium rates for 2016 have been filed and are publicly available (CT Mirror reports here)—which means you can see what your premium may look like next year. Rates for plans offered on the state exchange (Access Health CT) and those offered outside of the exchange are posted.
Most plan premiums have at least a modest increase, with some averaging as high as 32.9 percent rate increase (United Healthcare’s off exchange plans).
When insurance companies file rate increases over 10 percent for health insurance plans, the Office of the Health Care Advocate can request a rate review public hearing from the Connecticut Insurance Department (CID). While no hearings are posted yet (at the CID’s Notices page), we will let you know if any are announced.
You have 30 days to comment, even if there is no hearing. You can do this electronically at the CID’s Health Insurance Rate Filing webpage. Just a tip, CID uses the terms “on exchange” to refer to plans on Access Health CT, and “off exchange” for all other plans.
It is important for the Connecticut Insurance Department to hear from consumers about rate increases. In a world where health insurance companies and health care providers hold more and more power, consumers must use every avenue available to make their voices heard.
Also, we will have a new insurer in the Connecticut market, Harvard Pilgrim, a non-profit insurance company from Massachusetts. As of now, they have only filed off-exchange insurance rates, so it is unknown if they will be offering plans via the state exchange.
To learn even more about the rate filing and review process, check out the CID’s Frequently Asked Questions.
Consumer’s Union also has some great resources for advocates and consumers.
Families USA’s timely blog on the financial health of three top health insurers, which all insure in Connecticut (Anthem, Aetna & United Healthcare)