Connecticut Groups Want To Ban Insurer From Hiking Premiums Due To Obamacare

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Connecticut’s largest insurer proposed a double-digit rate hike due to Obamacare regulations and uncertainty, but several Connecticut groups pressed state regulators to deny the private company the right to raise its rates.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield opted for a 12.5 percent rate increase, a hike which sparked a hearing by Connecticut’s Department of Insurance. The Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut pressed regulators to deny the substantial hike simply because many policyholders would be affected. (RELATED: Obamacare Update: Now Even More States Report Double-Digit Premium Hikes)

State regulators shouldn’t “just rubber stamp Anthem’s request to raise premiums,” argued Jill Zorn, a senior program officer at the Universal Health Care Foundation.

“Anthem is only one insurer asking for a rate increase, but it is an insurer that enjoys a large share of the Connecticut market,” Zorn said. “We urge you to sharpen your pencils and carefully review all input in this rate review hearing, most especially the comments of policyholders who could not be here today.”

The state asked Anthem to submit additional information to justify their rate increase and a final decision will be made within 30 days. The health care law allows state regulators the power to approve or deny rate increases in the individual insurance market.

The hikes would affect over 66,000 customers in Connecticut, but Anthem is far from the only insurer requesting premium hikes due to uncertainty as a result of the health care law. Large insurers are requesting large rate hikes after the first year of the Affordable Care Act and continuing uncertainty about the health care law.

The only Connecticut insurer to request lower premium rates last year, HealthyCT, did not have any claims experience in the individual market to base its prices on. The second largest insurer, ConnectiCare Benefits proposed a 11.8 percent rate hike for an additional 27,500 policyholders.

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