Connecticut Announces Sharply Lower Rate Hikes for Health Insurance Plans

Connecticut’s approved rates for health insurance premiums in 2021 are vastly lower than what companies have requested, according to the final rulings released on Friday by the Connecticut Insurance Department. 

The approved average rate increase was 0.01 percent for individual plans and 4.1 percent for group plans. Last year, the average increase for individual and group plans were 3.95 percent and 9.19 percent, respectively. 

The department said in a press release that it expects the proposed changes to save 214,600 Connecticut residents $96 million. 

In a public hearing on September 2, the insurance companies defended their proposed increases, arguing that, in spite of record profits due to a decrease of elective procedures during the pandemic, the companies expected claims to rebound in the coming months. 

Yet in nearly every case, the companies received far less than what they asked for. Anthem, which requested rate increases of 9.9 percent for its individual market and 9.5 percent for its small group plans, had their requests lowered to 1.9 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively. 

ConnectiCare’s off-exchange plans were reduced from a requested 10.3 percent increase to a 4.2 percent increase for group plans and from a requested 4 percent increase to a 4 percent decrease for individual plans. Aetna, which asked for an 18.9 percent increase, received an increase of zero percent. 

When determining the rates, the department took into account the rising cost of prescription drugs and increase in demand for medical care. It also removed any calculations the insurance companies had made in their proposals concerning the impact of COVID-19. 

Insurance Commissioner Andrew Mais, who in July said he would go through the insurance filings “with a fine-toothed comb,” pledged in Friday’s press release to continue “to promote access and eliminate barriers to coverage here in Connecticut.”