HARTFORD — State Senator Tony Hwang has published a set of resources and links to help people who want to offer feedback before the State Insurance Department on August 15th, as an appointed panel reviews — in some cases — calls for double-digit health insurance rate increases of up to 24% next year. This year, there are 13 filings of health insurance tariff requests made by nine health insurance funds.
Hwang, who is a member of Newtown Legislative Delegation and the head of the Republican Committee on Insurance and Real Estate Committee and the Public Health Committee, is also offering to deliver testimony directly to the state insurance commissioner up to the date of this hearing.
With a colleague and Senate GOP chief Kevin KellyHwang also fought and succeeded in moving this audience from downtown to the insurance department Hartford offices, to Legislative Assembly Headquarters Building at the State Capitol complex.
“We absolutely need accessible public hearings for those affected to voice their struggles and challenge these unaffordable rate increases,” Hwang said in a statement to The Newtown Bee. “We need transparency and accountability from insurance companies and CID to the public who will be burdened by these excessive cost increases.”
Until now, the CID’s review process in its nondescript downtown office offered limited access and technology to accommodate public testimony and participation during the procedural process of considering the merits of each respective proposal. This process, Hwang said, is frustrating because it provides no opportunity to challenge and question the veracity of the claim.
“The Republican leader of the Senate Kevin Kelly and I recently wrote to the Commissioner of the CID Andrew But requesting that the hearing be held at the State Capitol and to provide in-person and virtual access to residents and businesses. We requested a hearing to enable an exchange of transparency and accountability and were joined by CT Healthcare Advocate Ted Doolittle who shared our frustration and also questioned the justification for these staggering proposed tariff increases.
Commissioner Mais has now agreed to hold the public hearing on monday august 15from 9am to Legislative Assembly Headquarters Building at the State Capitol. The hearing can also be viewed on CT-N Online, on the CID Facebook page or by dialing a conference call line.
Hwang reminds anyone wishing to submit and share their testimonial that they can email [email protected] with their names and testimony attached, cc-ing the senator to [email protected].
“I will personally deliver your testimony to the CID,” he said.
An email request is also required for those wishing to register to testify in person remotely via the MS Team video link.
While there were talks, the scheduled hearing could be postponed after a request from the state attorney general Guillaume Tongstate insurance commissioner Andrew N. But said the hearing will proceed as scheduled.
The AG said the delay was justified because the US Senate debate on the extension of the federal advance tax credit on premiums. At the request of the CID, these insurers included in their exchange rates the assumption that these tax credits would expire on January 1, 2023. This assumption has been identified as a significant factor behind the double-digit increases in the request rate, Tong said in a statement.
“Extending the tax credit would be a game-changer and could significantly reduce the need for an increase. It would be a breach of our duty to consumers to proceed with a rate hearing based on what now appears to be poor guess.Should CongressAs expected, vote to extend federal advance premium tax credits, claims must be reviewed — reflecting substantial savings for consumers — before any further action is taken,” Attorney General Tong said.
But, conversely, suggested that now may be the time to clarify the process for reviewing actuarial rates and the impact of federal subsidies on health insurance rates to eliminate misunderstandings.
“Although Congress has yet to vote to extend the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) increase in advanced federal premium tax credits and the continued removal of the upper income limit to receive these tax credits, as a board member of our Affordable Care Act (ACA) Exchange Access Health CT (AHCT) program, I have been a strong supporter of extending these increases” , said Mais. “Indeed, during the meetings this year with the members of the Connecticut delegation in WashingtonI passed on this support, I was delighted to hear from them, they also wholeheartedly supported the lawsuit and I thank them for all the work they have done to help Connecticut consumers. »
But said these subsidies reduce the cost of insurance for consumers once actuarially appropriate rates are established.
“We are currently carrying out a full actuarial review of rate filings,” the insurance commissioner added. “Notwithstanding suggestions to the contrary, the CID did not ask the healthcare carriers to assume that the ARPA extension would expire on 1/1/23. Rather, we had already asked each carrier to explain how they used the Federal Subsidy Assumption in its projection of premium data for 2023 so that we have the information and flexibility to respond quickly to any changes.
Anyone considering providing testimony, support or opposition to the Hearing Panel can read the supporting background materials by visiting the following links:
Sen KellyHealth insurance rate hike request Hwang Slam:
CT Republican leaders renew calls to open state capitol for public hearing on Proposed health
Insurance Rate Increases:
Sen Kellyformica and HWANG LETTER to the CT 7-11 insurance committee:
Insurance Commissioner’s Response Andrew But at Sen Kelly, Sen Hwang upon request for a transparent and accountable public hearing:
Insurance Department Updated Notice of Public Hearing:
Editor John Voket can be attached to [email protected].