Attorney General William Tong and a group of advocates and legislators called Wednesday for a public hearing to review insurance rate requests from nine health insurers who are seeking to raise the cost of health plans by an average of more than 20% next year.
The insurance companies, which sell plans both on and off Connecticut’s health exchange, collectively filed 13 requests with the Insurance Department last week for rate changes applying to plans on the individual and small group markets.
On average, insurers are seeking to raise individual rates 20.4%, a steep increase from the average of 8.6% insurers sought last year.
During a Hartford press conference, Tong called the requests unacceptable and asked the Insurance Department to host a hearing to allow him to cross-examine insurance carriers.
“We need to test what [insurers] are saying and understand what’s behind the numbers and put people under oath and ask them questions and really get to the bottom of this,” Tong said. “Yes, I want to litigate this question because the people of this state deserve nothing less than that.”
In a Wednesday statement, Insurance Commissioner Andrew Mais said the agency holds annual hearings on rate requests, which is expected to occur this year in early August.
“That hearing process will happen again this year, and the public is welcome to testify. The Department is fully committed to consumer protection and transparency which is why our hearings are all open to the public and broadcast over the public affairs of CT-N Network,” Mais said, adding that his department was still finalizing the date of the hearing.