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The Office of Health Strategy to Modify the 2024 Cost Growth Benchmark Due to High Inflation


FEBRUARY 29, 2024

(HARTFORD, CT)-The Office of Health Strategy (OHS) announced today that a one-time adjustment will be made to the previously announced cost growth benchmark values. OHS will increase the 2024 Healthcare Cost Growth Benchmark target value to 4.0%, up from the previously announced 2.9% target due to the anticipated impacts of unusually high inflation occurring in the 2022 reporting year.  According to Public Act 22-118, OHS is required to annually review the current and projected rate of inflation and determine whether a modification of the Healthcare Cost Growth Benchmark is indicated.

Consistent with its mission to monitor health care spending and promote  affordable healthcare, OHS oversees and manages the Cost Growth Benchmark initiative which was established by an executive order in 2020, and later codified into state law in Public Act 22-118. In consultation with health system stakeholders and experts in the field, OHS set Connecticut’s benchmark with a growth target of 3.4% for 2021, 3.2% for 2022, and 2.9% for 2023, 2024 and 2025. Growth in the statewide per-person spending for 2020-2021, the first year in which OHS reported, exceeded the 3.4% benchmark with a 6% increase in overall per-person spending statewide.

“This was an extraordinary set of circumstances coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Deidre Gifford, Executive Director of Office of Health Strategy. “It is important for OHS to acknowledge that there were marketplace impacts, in addition to inflation that have led to the need to re-examine earlier decisions. Going forward, OHS will continue to focus on the link between household income and healthcare cost growth, to ensure that every Connecticut resident can afford the care they need.”

To further strengthen the Benchmark program, Governor Lamont proposed House Bill 5054 which includes a section to establishing an Oversight Commission that will work with stakeholders to develop and vote on recommendations to the Executive Director of OHS. One of the many decisions the committee will advise upon will include determining specific criteria for when inflation is sufficiently atypical as to warrant an adjustment to the Cost Growth Benchmark. HB 5054 would also build in further accountability for healthcare entities that contribute to exceeding the annual benchmark value by requiring Performance Improvement Plans and requiring them to participate in the annual hearings held by OHS.


Contact: Tina Kumar-Hyde, Director of Communications

Connecticut Office of Health Strategy


Cell: (860) 969.7228