Thursday, May 23, 2013

Crisco wins approval for bill to scrutinize long-term care rate requests

HARTFORD - State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, Jr. , D-Woodbridge, co-chair of the legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee, Wednesday won a unanimous Senate vote for a bill to add an additional level of scrutiny for long-term care insurance rate increase requests. 

Language of the bill specifies that rate increase requests of ten percent or more be subject to public comment on the proposal.

Crisco said the requirement for a public symposium applies to individual and group insurance policies, whether they are provided by insurance companies, Health Maintenance Organizations or any other insurance provider.

“The two most important aspects of this initiative are improved transparency in the insurance rate increase approval process, and consumer protection in terms of a public forum in which those directly impacted by the prospective rate increase can describe what it would mean to them,” Crisco said. 
“This legislation builds upon the law enacted two years ago to shine the light of day onto the state’s insurance rate approval process.”

Crisco said the bill, should it become law, would require the commissioner of the state Insurance Department to schedule a symposium within 60 days of the original request for higher rates, and do so within five days of that request.

“I was struck by testimony provided by the American Association of Retired Persons to suggest that states allowing public input during the rate approval process are more successful in containing those rate increases,” Crisco said.

“This bill is not intended to deny insurers their reasonable rate increase requests, but simply to allow both sides of the matter to be heard and considered by regulators in the commissioner’s office at the Insurance Department.”

After Wednesday's unanimous Senate vote, SB808 now advances to the House of Representatives for its consideration.

This information is from a press release from Crisco's office. 

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