Press Releases

Attorney General William Tong


Attorney General Tong Statement on Connecticut Insurance Department Approval of Health Insurance Rate Hikes

(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong today released the following statement regarding increases approved by the Connecticut Insurance Department to individual and small group health insurance plans covering 188,000 people.

“Insurers sought bloated rates based on vague, unsupported assumptions contradicting nationally-supported data. The Connecticut Insurance Department was right to cut these demands, and, for the first time, to introduce affordability as a line of questioning in their review process this year. I also appreciate that CID took into account several factors raised by my office, including eliminating instances of excessive double-counting and inflated estimates for new preventative care requirements. However, these rate hikes remain far too high and deeply unaffordable. Insurers right now have little to no incentive to hold down healthcare costs or premiums, and Connecticut families and small businesses are getting crushed. We need to change this. Connecticut’s review process is far too condensed, and far too opaque to produce any kind of meaningful challenge to the insurance industry’s unjustified and unsupported assumptions. It is going to take legislative reform to force insurers to use their negotiating leverage to drive down these ballooning healthcare costs. And we need a robust, transparent review process that allows us to challenge and scrutinize these applications and actuarial assumptions. I’m developing a series of potential legislative reforms right now, and look forward to working with the Connecticut Insurance Department, consumers, providers, legislators, and other stakeholders to protect Connecticut families and small businesses from these ballooning costs,” said Attorney General Tong.

Attorney General Tong had argued both in written comments and in person during an informal hearing conducted by the Insurance Department that double-digit rate increase sought by Anthem, Cigna and ConnectiCare were unjustified, unsupported by evidence, and must be rejected.

Attorney General Tong’s comments pushed insurers and CID to address the broken incentive structure and negotiation dynamics between insurers and healthcare providers that contribute to the ever-rising cost of healthcare in Connecticut. Pushed by Attorney General Tong, insurers conceded at the hearing conducted by CID on August 21 that they do not negotiate the cost of individual procedures with hospitals and providers at all.

Attorney General Tong has argued for a more robust review process and is exploring potential legislative reforms that would impose heightened scrutiny to insurers seeking rate increases and applying actuarial assumptions in excess of industry accepted or government-developed benchmarks. He has continued to push for formal hearings under the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, as agreed to in a 2015 letter to then-Healthcare Advocate Vicki Veltri from then-Insurance Commissioner Katherine Wade when requested increases exceed 10 percent.

Twitter: @AGWilliamTong
Facebook: CT Attorney General
Media Contact:

Elizabeth Benton

Consumer Inquiries: