Hwang creates a resource for opponents of insurance rate hikes – InsuranceNewsNet

HARTFORD — State Senator Tony Huang has released a package of resources and links to help people who wish to offer comments before State Department of Insurance On August 15, as an appointed panel reviews — in some cases — requests for double-digit health insurance rate increases of up to 24 percent next year. This year there are 13 health insurance claims made by nine health insurance companies.

Hwang, who is a member of Newtown Legislative Delegation and the head of the Republican Committee on Insurance and Real Estate Commission and the Public Health Committee, also offers to submit testimony directly to the state insurance commissioner by the date of that hearing.

Together with her colleague Senate GOP leader Kevin KellyHwang also fought and succeeded in getting that hearing moved from the Insurance Division center Hartford offices, to Legislative Office Building in the state capitol complex.

“We absolutely need accessible public hearings for people who are affected to voice their struggles and challenge these exorbitant rate hikes,” Huang said in a statement issued to The Bee of Newtown. “We need transparency and accountability from insurance companies and CID to the public who will be burdened by these exorbitant cost increases.”

Until now, CID’s review process in its nondescript downtown office offered limited access and technology to accommodate public testimony and participation during the procedural process of reviewing the merits of each relevant proposal. That process, Huang said, is frustrating because it doesn’t provide an opportunity to challenge and question the veracity of the claim.

“Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly and recently I wrote to the CID Commissioner Andrew More requesting that the hearing be held at the state Capitol and provide both in-person and virtual access to residents and businesses. We called for a hearing to allow an exchange of transparency and accountability and were joined by the CT Healthcare Advocate Ted Doolittle who shared our frustration and also questioned the justification for these staggering proposed rate hikes.

Commissioner Mais has already agreed to hold a public hearing Monday, August 15starts in 9 in the morning at Legislative Office Building at the State Capitol. The hearing can also be viewed on CT-N online, via the CID Facebook page or by dialing into a telephone conference line.

Hwang reminds anyone who wants to send and share their testimony that they can send an email [email protected] with their names and depositions attached, copying the senator in [email protected].

“I will personally hand over your statement to the CID,” he said.

An email request is also required for those who wish to sign up to testify in person remotely via MS Team video link.

While there was talk, the scheduled hearing could be postponed after a request from the state attorney general William Tongstate insurance commissioner Andrew N. More says the hearing will go ahead as planned.

The AG said the delay was justified as US Senate discusses extending the federal advance premium tax credit. At CID’s request, these insurers built into their exchange rates an assumption that these tax credits would expire on January 1, 2023. That assumption was identified as a significant driver behind the double-digit increases in request rates, Tong said in a release.

“Extending the tax credit would be a game-changer and could significantly reduce the need for an increase. It would be a breach of our duty to consumers to proceed with a rate hearing based on what now appears to be a poor assumption. Must Congressexpectedly vote to extend federal advance premium tax credits, the claims must be reconsidered — reflecting significant savings to consumers — before any further steps are taken,” Attorney General Tong said.

Mays, on the other hand, suggested it might be a good time to clarify the actuarial rate review process and the impact federal subsidies have on health insurance rates to eliminate misunderstandings.

“Although Congress has not yet voted to extend the ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) increase in federal expanded premium tax credits and the continued removal of the income cap for receiving these tax credits, as a member of the Board of our Affordable Care Act (ACA) Exchange Access Health CT (AHCT), I was a strong supporter of expanding these increases,” Mays said. “Indeed, during meetings this year with members of the Connecticut delegation in WashingtonI’ve passed on that support, I’m glad to hear from them that they also wholeheartedly support the sequel and I’m grateful for all the work they’ve done to help Connecticut users.”

Mays said these subsidies lower the cost of insurance for consumers once actuarially appropriate rates are established.

“We are currently conducting a full actuarial review of the rates submitted,” the insurance commissioner added. “Despite suggestions to the contrary, CID has not asked healthcare providers to accept that the ARPA extension will expire on 1/1/23. Rather, we had already asked each carrier to explain how they used the federal subsidy assumption in their 2023 premium data projections so that we would have the information and flexibility to quickly address any changes.”

Anyone considering providing testimony, supporting or opposing the panel, can read supporting informational documents by visiting the following links:

Saint KellyHwang Slam Health Insurance Upgrade Request:

ctsenaterepublicans.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Sen-Kelly-and-Sen-Hwang-Slam-Health-Insurance-Rate-Hike-Request.pdf

CT Republican leaders renew calls to open state Capitol to public hearing Suggested health

Insurance Rate Increases:

ctsenaterepublicans.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/CT-Republican-Leaders-Renew-Calls-to-Open-State-Capitol-for-Public-Hearing-on-Proposed-Health-Insurance-Rate-Increases. pdf

Saint KellyFormica and Letter Hwang to CT Insurance Committee 7-11:

ctsenaterepublicans.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/INS-Letter-7-11.pdf

Answer from the Commissioner of Insurance Andrew More to Saint Kelly, Saint Huang regarding a request for a transparent and accountable public hearing:

ctsenaterepublicans.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Response-from-Insurance-Commissioner-Andrew-Mais-to-Sen.-Kelly-Sen.-Hwang-on-Request-for-Transparent-and-Accountable- Public hearing.pdf

Insurance Department updated notice of public hearing:

https://portal.ct.gov/CID/Public-Notices/Latest-Notices

Editor John Wockett can be reached at [email protected].

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