Fasano, Kelly Statement on Insurance Rate Increases Approved by State Today

September 5, 2016

Hartford – Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and Senator Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford), ranking member of the state’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee, released the following statements regarding the finalized insurance rate increases approved by the Connecticut Insurance Department today.

“I am pleased to see that the Insurance Department disapproved of some significant rate increases proposed on Anthem exchange plans and ConnectiCare off exchange plans. However, I cannot ignore that most rates are going up, by an average of almost 25% for individual plans and almost 13% for small group plans. This is significantly more than we saw last year and these rate increases will without a doubt be a hard hit for many families,” said Sen. Kelly. “Raising rates may be a short-term solution to the challenges faced by insurance companies, but such increases will only continue the destructive cycle of rising prices that scare people away from getting insurance in the first place. The harder it is for families to afford insurance, the fewer will be able to purchase it, and that will only worsen the industry’s problems. We have to look at more than just the issue of money. We have to look at the problems caused by failing policies and regulations. We have to look at the effects of the Affordable Care Act and figure out what our state can do differently to overcome those challenges. That’s why Republicans called for a public hearing with insurance companies. Rate increases cannot be the only solution. We have to dig deeper into why the industry is struggling, why some people are not purchasing insurance, and what the state can do to create a better environment for insurance companies and consumers alike,” said Kelly.

Sen. Fasano added: “It’s undeniable that some of these large increases in insurance rates will cause many low income families to lose insurance because they simply cannot afford it. To add insult to injury, they will be hit by a penalty from the federal government because they lack the income needed to purchase a plan. We need to act now to look at ways to reduce rates. Any Democrat who says we need to wait until next session is deliberately avoiding a tough issue before the election. The Democrats who pushed the Affordable Care Act onto the public are solely responsible for placing low income families at risk,” said Fasano.