CT Senate GOP Statement on Health Insurance Rate Hikes: “Groundhog Day”

June 14, 2024

Sen. Tony Hwang, ranking member of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, Sen. Kevin Kelly, former co-chair of the committee, and Sen. Republican Leader Stephen Harding issued the following statement in response to the exit of insurers in Connecticut’s individual/small business market as well as to the double digit health insurance rate hike requests submitted to the state for individual and small business plans that start in 2025.

“Here we go again. This ‘Groundhog Day’ scenario will continue to negatively impact Connecticut families if nothing is done.

“First: Connecticut has now seen several insurers pull out of the market. These withdrawals steadily reduce competition and drive up costs. Republicans will continue to work with private sector job creators, nonprofits and key Democrats to pass commonsense bipartisan Association Health Plan legislation to reduce burdens on job creators and individuals. We must allow working and middle-class employees of small companies to get more affordable insurance by pooling their resources together.

“Second: These proposed rate increases are unaffordable, unsustainable and infuriating. Year after year, Connecticut Republicans offer comprehensive plans to provide real health insurance premium relief. Year after year, our solutions are not advanced by the majority. Some Democrats say they want to develop new options to ensure Connecticut businesses can provide their employees with access to the high-quality, affordable health plans. So, why don’t they pass legislation which would do exactly that? It’s because Democrats want to pass government-run health insurance: the one-size-fits-all ‘public option’ which would crush private insurance industry jobs in the Insurance Capital of the World.

“Bottom line: Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act promising affordable, accessible, quality health care. Here we are, more than a decade later, and that promise has never been fulfilled. Republicans will continue to push for solutions to make healthcare more affordable for working and middle class families.

“Among our solutions: reinsurance that will reduce premiums by up to 30 % – or $6,000 a year – for the average family of four; Association Health Plans to lower insurance premiums for these same families by ‘pooling’ employees of small businesses together to lower premiums; making benchmarking more robust to slow the cost growth of health care services; and streamlining pharmaceutical distribution and bulk purchasing with other states to lower drug costs.

“Republicans have offered multiple achievable solutions for working and middle class families, but Democrats continue to stand in the way.”