Thousands of Conn. residents to see health insurance rates rise

This month, the Connecticut Insurance Department has approved rate increases of 5.5-to-12.8 percent for policies covering more than 100,000 people.
Combined with high oil and gasoline prices, these hikes are another blow to the economy as consumer spending is becoming more concentrated in the areas of health care, energy and education, leaving many households facing the decision to reduce other expenditures or increase their use of credit. But so far, consumers have been loathe to put much to use loans other than for automobiles and education
Here’s what the department approved this month:
Oxford Health Plans received a 5.5 percent increase for its large employer group plans for 2,678 policy holders which are covering 5,867 employees. The new rates are effective Nov. 1 of this year.
Anthem Health Plans received two rate increases both of which go into effect on Jan. 1, 2013. It got a 12.6 percent increase for its individual health plans, which affects 30,000 policy holders in the state. Anthem had asked for a 14.6 percent increase, but the department scaled it back after a review found some administrative costs could not be justified.
The Insurance Department also reduced to 12.8 percent Anthem’s 13.8 percent request for its small employer group plans. In this case, the department said Anthem overstated the impact from the new health care law. The change is expected to affect 36,000 policy holders covering 65,000 employees.

Rob Varnon