Filed Under:Health Insurance, Ltci

Connecticut blocks MetLife LTCI rate hikes

Hartford's Old State House (AP photo/Bob Child)
Hartford's Old State House (AP photo/Bob Child)

The Connecticut Department of Insurance has rejected 13 individual long-term care insurance (LTCI) rate increase applications filed by MetLife Insurance Company of Connecticut.

MetLife Insurance, a unit of MetLife Inc. (NYSE:MET), was seeking increases with an average value ranging from 50 percent of the current premiums to 100 percent. The applications could have affected about 11,000 policyholders in Connecticut.

MetLife said it now expects claims costs to be much higher over the life of the policies than it expected when it priced the policies.

"Unlike medical health insurance with premiums set to cover expenses incurred only during the upcoming policy year, long-term care premiums are set to cover expenses that are not expected to occur until a distant date, sometimes 20 years in the future," Connecticut officials say in the notices announcing the increase denials.

In some cases, Connecticut claims costs for the policies in the blocks included in the applications were clearly very high, but the Connecticut blocks with bad experience are small, and their experience is not credible, according to Paul Lombardo, a department actuary.

In other cases, Lombardo writes, the actual Connecticut claims experience has been better than MetLife had expected, and allowing any rate increase to take place at this time would be excessive and unwarranted.

Representatives from MetLife were not immediately available to comment on the rate change denials.

Connecticut regulators have used similar reasoning to block a number of other LTCI rate increase applications in recent years.

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