ConnectiCare plays Hokey-Pokey with ACA exchange but ultimately sticks around

Over the past week or so there was a lot of tense negotiations and confusion about whether or not ConnectiCare, the 2nd largest carrier on Connecticut's exchange and the largest in CT's individual market overall, would bail on participating on AccessHealthCT next year. They bumped up their rate hike request not once but twice, from 14.3% to 17.4% to 27.1%, and when state regulators stuck with 17.4% and refused to budge any higher, they threatened to file a lawsuit and drop out of the exchange. As of last Friday, it looked like they were indeed pulling out.

I waited until yesterday (Tuesday) to post anything because I wanted to be sure about where things stood...but then, a few minutes later, it turned out that CTCare reversed itself at the last minute after all:

Days after declaring it would leave the state’s health insurance exchange, ConnectiCare has decided not to drop out of the marketplace, much to the relief of many — including Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

...On Monday, the state’s exchange, Access Health CT, released a statement from its CEO, Jim Wadleigh, and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman stating they’d received a letter from ConnectiCare announcing its intent to exit the exchange.

...ConnectiCare’s initial decision to leave the exchange followed a lawsuit filed by the company against the state over the recently approved insurance rates for 2017.

ConnectiCare, which insures 47,597 people through the exchange, originally requested a hike of 14.3 percent for such plans. In June, the company changed its request to a 17.4 percent increase, then changed it again in August, asking for a 27.1 percent increase

The state ultimately approved an increase of 17.4 percent.

It sounds like 17.4% is where things stand with the dust settled.

Meanwhile, this article from CT News Junkie fills in the other approved rate gaps I had for Connecticut's individual and small group markets. With the confusion hopefully out of the way, this should be the final word on the CT markets for 2017: