As we originally reported here, the Connecticut Legislature’s proposed bill, S.B. 11, An Act Concerning the Rate Approval Process for Certain Health Insurance Policies, if enacted, would expand the current rate approval process as administered by the Connecticut Department of Insurance for proposed increases of 10% or more for health and long-term care insurance. The bill has recently passed both the House and the Senate in the legislative body’s third attempt to get such a bill to the governor’s desk.
In an attempt to increase the bill’s likelihood of obtaining a signature by the governor, the Connecticut Senate has made, and the Connecticut House has approved, several amendments to the initial proposed bill. The key amendments are summarized as follows:
- The new rate approval process (i.e., filing risk classification and premium rates) only applies to small employer group health insurance rates rather than all group health insurance rates.
- The Connecticut Insurance Commissioner must hold a symposium on certain proposed rate filings if they are for more than a 10% increase and a symposium is requested by the state Healthcare Advocate or Connecticut Attorney General. The symposium process is only required for the period between January 1, 2012 and January 1, 2013.
- The additional cost of the new rate approval process was scaled back from just over $2 million in the biennial budget to less than $200,000, which includes an estimated 15 symposia per year.
State officials have said that the symposia would provide an open forum for the general public to comment on the proposed rate increases.