Filed Under:Health Insurance, Ltci

Connecticut committees OK LTCI rate bills

Hartford's Old State House (AP photo/BobChild)
Hartford's Old State House (AP photo/BobChild)

Lawmakers in Connecticut are considering several bills that could affect carriers' moves to increase long-term care insurance (LTCI) rates.

The bills that have advanced the furthest are House Bill 6321 and the Senate Bill 808 substitute.

H.B. 6321 would require that an LTCI issuer give any consumer considering an LTCI policy a disclosure about the possibility of rate increases.

The disclosure would have to provide information about any rate increases the issuer had imposed on the policy form or similar forms within the past 10 calendar years.

The Joint Committee on Insurance and Real Estate recently voted 18-0 to support the bill.

Sen. Martin Looney, D-New Haven, Conn., the Senate majority leader, testified at a hearing on several insurance bills that he believes LTCI buyers must be made aware that the policies may be subject to rate increases.

"Informing buyers of the 10-year history of rate increases on the product would give these buyers the information they need to make an educated choice in a complicated market," Looney said, according to a written version of his remarks posted on the Senate website.

America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) has said it would prefer to see Connecticut adopt a disclosure provision in a model regulation developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). The model requires an insurer to provide a disclosure when it solicits a consumer's business and when a consumer applies for coverage.

"This disclosure form forewarns the consumer that the policy may be subject to rate increases in the future, and provides an explanation of potential future premium rate revisions and the insured's options in the event of such a rate revision," AHIP said.

The other bill that has advanced, the S.B. 808 substitute bill, would require any filing for an LTCI rate for more than 10 percent to go through a 60-day public comment period. The insurance commissioner would have to take the public comments into account when reviewing proposed rate increases.

The Joint Insurance and Real Estate Committee agreed to support that bill with a 19-3 vote.

Looney and AARP have supported the public comment period bill.

AHIP and the Insurance Association of Connecticut are opposing the S.B. 808 substitute. Bob Quigley of AHIP said the Connecticut Insurance Department already vigorously reviews LTCI rates and requires insurers to show that any proposed increases are actuarially justified.

A slow rate increase approval process contributed to the insolvency of Penn Treaty, Quigley said.

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