Insurers to notify members of rate hike requests

In an unusually concessionary move between insurance companies and the officials who regulate them, insurers in Connecticut have agreed to notify members with individual and small group policies when they submit a rate hike proposal to the state insurance department for review.

"Consumers have a right to know when their health carrier has filed for a new rate and the department has worked closely with carriers to develop a letter on rate notification," said Insurance Commissioner Thomas Leonardi.

The letters will guide members to the insurance department's website, which includes each rate request, the company's correspondence with the department, a summary of the filing and a public comments section. The website also offers an e-alert system that emails members with information, the Hartford Courant reported.

Insures will mail the letters directly to their individual policyholders and will send letters to their small group policyholders' employers, reported the Connecticut Mirror.

Leonardi highlighted insurers' cooperative nature in reaching the agreement, which prevented his office from creating new legislation to require the notification, according to LifeHealthPro. "I appreciate the efforts and cooperation of the carriers to keep their customers well-informed every step of the rate process," he said.

Keith Stover, spokesman for the Connecticut Association of Health Plans, said that the group applauds Leonardi's work and the department's "willingness to develop a sound, practical approach to a vital consumer issue."

To learn more:
- see the Hartford Courant article
- read the Connecticut Mirror article
- check out the LifeHealthPro article