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Tong, Lembo Oppose Connecticut Health Insurance Rate Hikes

State Comptroller Kevin Lembo.
Chion Wolf
State Comptroller Kevin Lembo.

Connecticut Comptroller Kevin Lembo and Attorney General William Tong urged state regulators to reject health insurance rate hikes for next year. Regulators are to hold a public hearing on the rate hikes Tuesday.

Eleven insurers in Connecticut are asking for rate hikes that range from 8.6% to 12.9% for individual and small group plans in 2022.

Attorney General Tong said the rate hikes are not justified during a pandemic.

“For the last year and a half we’ve opposed rate increases by our state utilities, we’ve opposed rate increases by broadband providers. I know that the Comptroller feels very strongly about that as well,” Tong said.

The insurance providers claim that they need the hikes because of a rising demand for medical services and the higher cost of prescription drugs. They also said they expect to handle more claims next year because of the delay of medical care during the pandemic.

Comptroller Kevin Lembo urged state regulators to reject the hikes.

“They are excessive by any objective measure. And we are happy to put our utilization data for regulators to compare theirs to ours and figure out what they are doing wrong,” Lembo said.

Lembo supports a state-run public health insurance option. It failed to be adopted in the last legislative session.

Copyright 2021 WSHU. To see more, visit WSHU.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year. In addition to providing long-form reports and features for WSHU, he regularly contributes spot news to NPR, and has worked at the NPR National News Desk as part of NPR’s diversity initiative.

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