The state's Insurance Department held a public hearing on Monday to find out why Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield proposed raising premiums by as much as 32 percent. The proposed increase could impact nearly 56,000 Connecticut residents.
Some of those residents urged regulators to oppose the increase at a public hearing before the state's insurance department.
Kevin Galvin represents Small Businesses for Healthcare Reform. He says in the last six months, the group has seen its membership grow from 10 members to more than 19 thousand individuals.
"More than 30 percent of my 19 thousand member organization being individual policy holders. To say this is going to have a life-changing affect on my membership is an understatement. The fear and anger is out there in the public."
Anthem's regional vice president, George Siriotis, says he's keenly aware of and understands people's concerns. Yet he says the company needs more money to cover rapidly rising healthcare costs, which are much higher than originally projected.
Siriotis added that premiums are a very small piece of Anthem's profits.
State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal strongly opposes the proposed increase. He called it unprecedented not only in its magnitude, but also in its timing, adding that Anthem has given a face and voice to the healthcare reform debate.
There is no shred of factual or evidentiary support for this rate increase. 23.4 percent, or as high as 30 plus percent for many consumers is simply outrageous and unjustified, as well as unnecessary.
The hearing officer for the state insurance dept has 30 days to issue a proposed final decision to the Insurance Commissioner. He'll then decide whether to reject or amend the decision.