WNPR

Connecticut Regulators Look To Feds For Relief From High Health Care Rates

Sep 14, 2017

Customers on Connecticut’s health care exchange will be facing double digit rate increases next year, but the state’s insurance commissioner said Wednesday she’s hopeful there might be some relief in sight. 

Anthem has been approved for an average rate rise of 31.7 percent, while ConnectiCare’s rates will rise by 27.7 percent. The rates were released by the Connecticut Insurance Department this week.

Both companies confirmed that they will offer plans through Access Health Connecticut in 2018, ending months of uncertainty.

The rates approved so far assume the federal government will remove what are known as cost-sharing subsidies or CSRs, which help low-income customers pay for their insurance expenses. 

Insurance Commissioner Katharine Wade said if the Trump administration instead commits to the payments, rates could come down.

“Our hope is that in the event that legislative action is taken, that we will be given the flexibility, along with our colleagues around the country, to readjust the rates, if CSR payment certainty is brought forward,” she told a board meeting of Access Health CT, the state’s health care exchange.

Wade said that customers should be getting an increase in refundable tax credits, which should also help offset the higher premiums.

Open enrollment begins on the exchange in November, and Connecticut says it will run its enrollment period till December 22, one week longer than the federal government.