Senator Kelly Releases Statement on Health Insurance Rate Request Increases for 2018

May 8, 2017

“The problems we have here right now are not problems that were created within the first 100 days of a presidency”

Today State Senator Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) released the following statement regarding the Health Insurance Rate Requests for 2018.

 “It is undeniable that insurance rates have continued to increase over the past few years,” said Sen. Kelly. “We started to see rates substantially increase in 2014 and it really hasn’t stopped since then, last year rates went up on average by 25 percent for individual plans and almost 13 percent for small group plans. Now we are seeing requests for a 34 percent increase for individuals plans – this is substantially more than last year’s request and will make it so fewer and fewer families can actually afford health insurance.”

“As I said last year, rate increases can’t be the only solution, if we keep increasing rates fewer families will be able to afford insurance and if you have less people purchasing insurance this will place an even larger burden on the insurance industry,” said Sen. Kelly. “To be clear these aren’t just on exchange plans increasing – off exchange plans are increasing as well.”

“These types of increases have been a long-time coming, we have seen insurance companies leave state exchanges left and right, and premiums are continuing to rise to unaffordable levels.  Unfortunately many people are taking this opportunity to blame the current administration in D.C., I hope that in the future we can keep health insurance in the state of Connecticut a non-partisan issue. We need to be concerned about the more than 15,000 people in Connecticut who previously purchased insurance through the state’s health insurance exchange leaving the exchange. We also need to be concerned that Connecticut is the only state in the country that doesn’t include brokers in the state exchange process, making it even harder for people to navigate the state exchange,” said Sen. Kelly. “The problems we have here right now are not problems that were created within the first 100 days of a presidency. These are problems that are rooted deep within the ACA and policies that Democrat leaders pushed for, policies that led to a 25 percent increase in rates last year and a possible 34 percent increase in rates this year. These policies are not only placing low-income families at risk, but every middle-class family will now feel another pinch on their finances.”

“Regardless of what is happening in D.C., now more than ever, we must work together to make Connecticut a state that has better environment for families trying to purchase insurance and a better environment for our insurance companies,” said Sen. Kelly. “I look forward to the creation of a bipartisan health insurance task force, clearly the policies that are in place today and have been in place for years have resulted in our state facing a large hurdle as it relates to affordability of health care, making it even-harder for hard-working families to access health insurance.”