Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) released the following statement today expressing his disappointment that Connecticut health insurers are requesting immediate rate hikes of more than 20 percent as reported by the Hartford Courant.
“Connecticut families have suffered from skyrocketing health insurance prices and the industry’s abusive practices for far too long,” said Dodd. “To now try to attribute a more than 20 percent proposed rate hike to the new health care reform law after years of continually proposing comparable double-digit rate hikes in Connecticut is both reprehensible and dishonest. Should these new rates take effect, there is no doubt that many Connecticut families will be severely impacted and could join the ranks of the uninsured across the country. I urge the state to thoroughly review this request and use the $1 million in federal funding it was recently awarded under the new health care reform law to protect Connecticut consumers and families and prevent these unreasonable rate hikes.”
Last month, Dodd announced that Connecticut was awarded a $1 million grant through the Affordable Care Act to aid in the review of health insurance premium increases. The Health Insurance Premium Review Grant program funds will be used by the state to improve the review process to better evaluate proposed premium increases; increase transparency and accessibility of health insurance premium filings by making them available online to the public; and develop and upgrade technology to streamline data sharing and give information to consumers more quickly.
Dodd shepherded health care reform legislation through committee passage last year and worked closely with Senate leaders on final passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in March. Dodd has repeatedly raised concerns about rate increases in Connecticut in the past and fought to both end the worst of insurance company practices and include these grants in the final version of the historic health reform law.