CT rejects Anthem Blue Cross 2011 rate hike request
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Connecticut will not be able to raise health care premiums up to 19.9 percent on 48,000 members after acting Insurance Commissioner, Barbara Spear, rejected the request calling it “excessive.” As you may recall Spear replaced Tom Sullivan, who resigned after pressure from many groups that he had a tradition of “rubber stamping” insurance increases.
Background on the Anthem Rate Increase Request
Anthem recently filed a request in November to increase the monthly premiums on many of their most popular individual plans including Tonik, Lumenous and Century Preferred Direct. The decision to reject the request was based on the findings of a recent public hearing and an audit of Anthem’s submitted actuarial numbers. The “in-house analysis” by the department of insurance found that Anthem’s projected cost increase of 12.5 should have been closer to 4.1 percent.
Connecticut’s Attorney General Blumenthal commented on the recent Anthem price increase rejection, saying ” This decision hopefully marks the dawn of a new era for the Insurance Department, real scrutiny and service to consumers. The department did what it’s supposed to do, but often has not: Set rates based on facts.”
Anthem responded with the following statement:
“As we review the order, it is important to note that we understand and share strongly the concerns of our members over the rising cost and rate of utilization of health care services and the corresponding adverse impact on insurance premiums,” she said. “The increasing demand for medical services, including the use of new, expensive prescription drugs, and demand for advanced technologies are driving up the cost of health care at an unprecedented rate. Anthem remains committed to our individual market segment customers and to finding ways to manage health care costs.”