Connecticut insurance regulators rejected a proposed 20 percent increase on health care plans from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, saying the request was "excessive," according to a report in the Hartford Courant.
Anthem, the state's largest health insurer, claimed an increased demand for medical services and "advanced technologies" along with expensive prescription drugs are to blame for the rising cost of health care, although an analysis by Connecticut insurance regulators found that a zero percent raise would be "reasonable and actuarially sound," the paper said.
The proposed rate hike would have affected about 48,000 Anthem members who purchased an individual health care plan before Congress passed the health insurance reform laws in March, meaning that the federal changes do not apply to them, according to the Courant.
Protesters, holding signs saying "shame" and others criticizing Anthem's profit margins packed a November hearing regarding the tax hike. The proposal was also condemned by a variety of doctors, public officials and consumer advocates, the article said.
A recent study from the Commonwealth Fund found that health care premiums for employer-sponsored plans have increased 41 percent from 2003 to 2009, and also predicted that annual premiums will reach an average of $23,342 per family by 2020 if they continue to rise at the current rate.