In the spring of 2014, Anthem requested an average 12.5 percent increase in health insurance premiums from its Connecticut customers, with some plans facing increases of 17.3 percent. Consumer and advocate input opposed the request and the rate request was decreased to 0.1 percent.
The Connecticut Insurance Department (CID) is not required to open up its rate review process to a public hearing. The state Healthcare Advocate, Victoria Veltri, stepped in and used her authority to request a public hearing. The CID reluctantly agreed to hold a public hearing, which was scheduled at 9 a.m. on a Friday — not a consumer-friendly time.
The Foundation got the word out to thousands of Anthem customers, many of whom decided to weigh in online through the CID website, and a few were able to show up and testify in person. The Foundation spoke at the hearing in opposition to the rate hike request. Its testimony focused on false assumptions used by Anthem to substantiate its request, as well as the poor manner in which CID ran the public hearing process, which was not conducive to consumer participation.
We continue to advocate for this process to be improved.