The COVID-19 pandemic may have given little health problems a chance to take root in our bodies and turn into big problems, because of decreased use of preventive care and other routine care.
Health insurers talk about the possible impact of pandemic-related social distancing rules and self-isolation on 2022 health costs in initial proposed health insurance rate requests they have filed with the Connecticut Insurance Department.
The filings are for the individual major medical market and the fully insured small-group major medical market.
Eleven insurers have submitted 16 filings for plans that cover a total of about 222,700 people.
The Connecticut department said it will conduct actuarial reviews on each filing to determine whether the proposed request is justified. The department can approve, reject or change the proposed rates.
Members of the public can see the rate requests on the department website and use the site to submit comments.
The department expects to make final rulings on the proposals in September. Open enrollment for the 2022 coverage year is set to begin Nov. 1.
The insurers have proposed increasing individual rates an average of 8.6%. That’s up from 6.3% for this year. The range is 5.1% to 12.3%.
The average proposed small-group increase is 12.9%, with a range of 7.4% to 15.8%. The average is up from an average increase of 11.3% for this year.
Carriers gave three explanations for their proposed increases.
One is “trend,” or the underlying increase in health care costs. That factor includes increases in the cost of prescription drugs and demographics-driven increases in demand for medical services.