Insurance Commissioner rejected AG’s request to postpone rate hike hearing

Lawyer Normal William Tong at a press convention in July attributed to him: Hugh McQuaid / CT Information Junkie

The Connecticut Division of Insurance coverage is not going to adjust to Lawyer Normal William Tong’s request to postpone a listening to scheduled for August 15 to evaluation requests for fee hikes by state medical insurance suppliers, in response to the state’s insurance coverage commissioner.

“CID is not going to delay the media assembly as a result of the Facilities for Medicare and Medicaid Companies (CMS) and carriers should set their charges by early September, so [Access Health Connecticut] Can put together for the open enrollment interval starting on 11/1/2022,” Commissioner Andrew Mays stated.

Mays’ assertion on Tuesday denied Tong’s request to postpone the listening to within the occasion of an extension of the Congressional Well being Assist Motion, which expires quickly. Mays’ refusal to postpone the occasion was the most recent episode in an ongoing dispute between the lawyer common and the insurance coverage regulatory company, which started after a number of insurance coverage suppliers submitted requests to extend their charges by a mean of 20.4% for plans starting in 2023.

Whereas Tong has known as for personal hearings throughout which he can query insurance coverage trade representatives underneath oath, the company has chosen to remain the course and proceed with plans to carry an ordinary media session to evaluation the purposes later this month.

Tong reignited the difficulty this week with a letter to Mays, urging the commissioner to carry the listening to whereas Congress considers extending federal tax credit which might be set to run out in January. In keeping with Tong, insurance coverage suppliers cited expiring subsidies as a part of their justification for the two-digit fee requests.

“Extending the tax credit score shall be a game-changer, and will considerably scale back the necessity for a rise,” Tong wrote. “It will be a default in our obligation to customers to proceed with a listening to on pricing primarily based on what now seems to be a nasty guess. Ought to Congress, as anticipated, vote to increase superior federal tax credit, the purposes needs to be reviewed—reflecting vital shopper financial savings—earlier than taking motion. Every other steps.

Nevertheless, in his assertion, Mays disputed Tong’s declare that the tip of federal subsidies had considerably spurred requests to lift insurance coverage charges.

“Regardless of recommendations on the contrary, CID has not requested well being carriers to imagine that the ARPA extension will expire on 1/1/23,” Mays stated. “Conversely, we have already requested every service to elucidate how they used the belief of federal assist to drop their 2023 premium knowledge in order that we now have the knowledge and suppleness to rapidly course of any adjustments.”

In a letter to Tong, Maes stated the deliberate media listening to would supply members of the general public and elected officers with a “excellent alternative” to debate each the proposed worth will increase and the potential affect of a federal extension of elevated well being care subsidies.

Mays appeared to be intimidated by any indication that his company wouldn’t conduct a complete evaluation to lift the requested charges.

He wrote in a letter to Tong. “The Connecticut Division of Insurance coverage is rightly happy with its repute as a world-class insurance coverage regulator.”

The listening to is scheduled to happen on the Legislative Workplace Constructing in Hartford on Monday, August 15 and can concentrate on plans supplied on and off the state medical insurance trade from CIGNA Well being & Life and CTCare Inc. and CTCare Advantages Inc. and ConnectiCare Insurance coverage Firm Inc.

Members of the general public can take part in actual and in individual and might present written testimony concerning proposals from Aetna, Anthem Well being Plans, and United Healthcare/Oxford.