Connecticut: Preliminary avg. 2021 #ACA premiums: +6.3% indy, +11.3% sm. group

via the Connecticut Insurance Dept:

The Connecticut Insurance Department has posted the initial proposed health insurance rate filings for the 2021 individual and small group markets. There are 14 filings made by 10 health insurers for plans that currently cover about 214,600 people.

Important: As noted below, the 214,600 figure is Connecticut's individual & small group market combined.

Two carriers – Anthem and ConnectiCare Benefits Inc. (CBI) – have filed rates for both individual and small group plans that will be marketed through Access Health CT, the state-sponsored health insurance exchange.

The 2021 rate proposals for the individual and small group market are on average slightly lower than last year:

  • The proposed average individual rate request is 6.3 percent increase, compared to 7.8 percent in 2020 and ranges from -2.4 percent to 15.0 percent.
  • The proposed average small group rate request is an 11.3 percent increase, compared to 12.0 percent in 2020 and ranges from -7.5 percent to 18.9 percent.

In addition, carriers have attributed the proposed increases to:

  • Trend: Trend is a factor that accounts for rising health care costs, including the cost of prescription drugs, and the increased demand for medical services.
  • COVID-19: Three carriers, Aetna, Harvard Pilgrim and UnitedHealthcare/Oxford have not included any impact for COVID-19 in their 2021 rates due to significant uncertainty. Anthem and CTCare have included COVID-19 impact on premium rates of 2.3% and 1.7%, respectively.

The Insurance Department will conduct actuarial reviews on each filing to determine if they are justified and will either approve, reject or modify the request. The 30-day public comment period on all filings begins today (July 24) and comments can be filed online through the link that accompanies every filing or can be delivered to the Connecticut Insurance Department at P.O. 816, Hartford, CT 06142-0816.

The administrative rate hearing will be held on Wednesday September 2, 2020 at 9:00 AM for both individual and small group products marketed on the Connecticut Health Exchange, commonly referred to as Access Health CT. The Department expects to make final rulings on the proposals in September.

Open enrollment for the 2021 coverage year begins November 1, 2020.

Here's the summary sheet for both the individual and small group markets. I've also reviewed the individual filings for each carrier in each market and found slight variants in the COVID-19 factor for a few, though the overall averages are as noted above.

Statewide, COVID-19 accounts for about 1.8 points of the 6.3% average increase on the individual market, and around 0.9 points of the 11.3% (11.4% according to my own spreadsheet) on the small group market.