Connecticut Department of Insurance okays hikes as high as 20%

Discussion in 'Health and Lifestyle' started by Trajan, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. Trajan

    Trajan conscientia mille testes Staff Member

    Jun 17, 2010
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    The Bay Area Soviet
    Connecticut is not exactly a right wing bastion, so that thats out of the way, what now?

    I don't know what/why the AG has anything to say here, his discipline is law, not insurance.

    BUT, hes running for Senator, so hes playing his base I guess,.

    It appears too have escaped him that this will hurt him more than help, as indys who don't see Obamacare as viable or are on the fence will have something new to ponder, reps will get further energized, dems will be at least privately pissed and stay away... that I believe that will be the public's major take away from this and the events like this sure to follow sate by state.

    And please, no hysterical the evil scum Insurance co.s are blood suckers, if Obamacare was not been the Frankenstein it is, the increases would probably have been much much lower 7-8% along the usual lines we have been seeing....and we all know it.

    And, I think we all know, this isn't even near the end of the unintended consequences...we are just getting started.

    I am sure Sebelius is getting ready to make the drive from DC to Hartford with the mobile re-education camps in tow.

    So that being said, heres another; "lets see pass the bill to see whats in it" moment....

    State OKs Anthem Rate Hikes, Some More Than 20 Percent; Attorney General Cries Foul

    The state's largest health insurer was granted rate hikes Friday that will be well over 20 percent for some plans, drawing sharp criticism from the attorney general.

    Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut requested a wide range of premium increases, which will take effect Oct. 1, to cover the costs of new benefits required by federal health reform. Higher prices mostly affect new members shopping for a health plan on the individual market rather than people who have group plans through an employer or some other organization.

    The Connecticut Department of Insurance approved Anthem's request without changes, including a boost of as much as 22.9 percent just to comply with one provision: eliminating annual spending limits per customer. But it's unclear how much more customers will pay because of the variety of plans and the complexity of other factors, such as a person's age.

    New provisions mandated by federal law to start Thursday include allowing young adults to stay on their parents' plan until they turn 26, eliminating annual and lifetime limits on the amount of money an insurer spends per customer and mandating that insurers cover the full cost of preventive services, such as mammograms and colonoscopies.

    The looming question is how much those new mandated benefits, along with rising medical costs, will raise prices for health insurance next year. Insurers will submit a new batch of rate requests in October and November to take effect in 2011.

    Attorney General Richard Blumenthal called on Insurance Commissioner Thomas Sullivan "to schedule public hearings on all pending health insurance rate increase requests, ensuring proper analysis and inquiry by consumers, businesses and government officials."

    "Anthem and other insurers are seeking massive, unjustified increases that will crush consumers and companies, especially small businesses, struggling with the worst economic downturn in decades," Blumenthal said.

    Earlier in the week, the Insurance Department released the following statement: "While some of the new requirements under health care reform have already been adopted into Connecticut law, such as dependent coverage, several have not. As a result, when benefit levels are increased it is not unexpected to see commensurate increases in premium levels."

    All of Connecticut's major health insurers filed proposed rate changes for new plans, or revised plans, to cover the new benefits. Besides Anthem, the only other health insurer that has been approved thus far was Aetna, which requested an average 24.7 percent increase over last year for small-group HMO plans. State regulators agreed to an average increase of 18 percent for all of Aetna's small-group plans and 14.2 percent for large-group and middle-market plans.

    Anthem offered a detailed analysis of how much prices would change to offer the new benefits.

    For instance, eliminating annual limits for spending on health-plan members will increase prices from 0.5 percent to 22.9 percent, depending on the plan.

    Covering the entire cost of preventive care services such as colonoscopies and mammograms will leave some premiums unchanged and raise others by up to 8.5 percent.

    Requiring insurers to accept children into individual-market plans regardless of pre-existing conditions will increase rates by 4.8 percent.

    Insurance Rate Hikes: State OKs Anthem Rate Hikes, Some More Than 20 Percent; Attorney General Cries Foul -

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