KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

After Rejection Of Increases, Conn. Premiums Set To Decrease

Elsewhere, Missouri regulators have less authority to review insurance rates than other states do. And Massachusetts' health insurance premiums are set to rise.

The CT Mirror: After Rate Hike Rejected, Anthem To Decrease Premiums Next Year
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s individual-market customers will, on average, see a slight decrease in their premiums next year under new rates approved by the Connecticut Insurance Department. Anthem, the state’s largest insurer, initially requested approval to raise rates by an average of 12.5 percent. But the insurance department rejected the proposal and asked the company to resubmit its plan using different calculations. The result: An average premium decrease of 0.1 percent for Anthem customers (Becker, 8/15).

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Missouri Lags Behind In Insurance Pricing Transparency
Connecticut, Kansas and Illinois are among a long list of states and the District of Columbia that have some sort of authority to review insurance rates, meaning pricing, before plans are sold. But that type of authority does not exist in Missouri. The Show-Me State is one of the only states that does not have the ability to review health insurance rates. Wyoming is close behind; it has only the ability to review rates for health maintenance organizations, or HMOs. Advocates say it’s time for a change in Missouri (Liss, 8/17).

WBUR: Mass. Health Insurers Report Losses; Many Premiums To Rise By 3 Percent
Premiums for Massachusetts small businesses and residents who buy insurance on their own are going up. The average increase for Jan. 1 is 3.1 percent. But this is just the base rate. Your rates could be higher or lower, depending on how much you or your fellow employees have spent on health care this year. Insurers say premiums are going up because residents are using more care. What’s known as “utilization” in the insurance world dropped during the recession, but appears to be creeping up again (Bebinger, 8/15).

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