Press Releases - September 13, 2018

 Contact: Donna Tommelleo, 860-297-3958
Insurance Commissioner Issues Decisions
For 2019 Health Insurance Rates
Average increases lower than previous years

Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade today announced the Department has made final decisions on the health insurance rate filings for the 2019 coverage year.

The Department ruled that the average increase for individual plans is 2.72 percent, down from average request of about 12 percent. The average increase for small group plans is 3.14 percent, down from the requested average of just over 10 percent.

“Medical trend - the cost of medical services and the demand for those services - continues to be the main cost driver and we need to work with all stakeholders to reduce the cost of health care, which drives increases in health insurance premiums,” said Commissioner Wade. “For the first time there will be more choice of innovative networks and plan cost sharing options for consumers on the exchange. The Department has worked closely with the Access Health CT Board and the exchange carriers to ensure a variety of meaningful options. Providing greater choice to consumers is important so they can choose a plan that best meet their individual and family needs.”

The Commissioner said that in addition to medical trend of approximately 8 percent, carriers also accounted for the cost of new state mandates and adding pregnancy as a qualifying event to enroll in health insurance in the individual market. Other factors contributing to the final rate decisions were:

  • The Department determined that there would be limited impact from lack of enforcement of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. While the federal government officially removed the individual mandate penalty for 2019, the Department and carriers accounted for this in the 2018 rates.
  • The Department determined there would be marginal impact from the federal government’s new regulations for short-term, limited-duration health plans and association health plans. Carriers filed their rates in July while still awaiting clarification from Washington, which came later in the summer. After a thorough legal review of state laws and regulations and the federal regulations, the Department provided guidance last month in two Bulletins, HC-121 and HC-123.
About the Connecticut Insurance Department: The mission of the Connecticut Insurance Department is to protect consumers through regulation of the industry, outreach, education and advocacy. The Department recovers an average of $4 million yearly on behalf of consumers and regulates the industry by ensuring carriers adhere to state insurance laws and regulations and are financially solvent to pay claims. The Department’s annual budget is funded through assessments from the insurance industry. Each year, the Department returns an average of $100 million a year to the state General Fund in license fees, premium taxes, fines and other revenue sources to support various state programs, including childhood immunization.
For help with all your insurance issues:
  • Ask a question or file a complaint online
  • Call the Consumer Helpline at 800-203-3447 or 860-297-3900.
  • Sign up for e-alerts to get the latest news, warnings and rate changes that may affect your premium
  • Download consumer FAQs on health, homeowner and auto coverage
  • Use the Department’s Speakers Bureau for public events.
  • Visit our Web site and follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube