May 4, 2018

House to weigh long-term care insurance rate hike bill

Legislation that seeks to blunt the impact of rising premiums for long-term care insurance policies is on the House's agenda for Friday.

House Bill 5209 would require premium hikes of 20 percent or higher to be spread out over five years. Current state law allows such increases to be spread out over three years.

The latest version of the legislation would apply only to individual and group policies filed on or after Oct. 1, 2018. The three-year requirement would continue to apply to policies filed before that date.

House lawmakers convened at 11 a.m. Friday. The regularly scheduled legislative session closes next week.

Frequent premium increases have slowed long-term care policy sales in Connecticut and across the country over the years.

A Branford couple that purchased a policy in the 1990s appealed to lawmakers in March to find some way to lessen the impact of the double-digit rate hikes they have been experiencing since 2011.

While older policies in particular may have been mispriced initially, insurers have argued that their rates are actuarially justified and that delayed rate increases could hurt their solvency and ability to pay claims. The Insurance Department has also raised concerns about insurer solvency and the potential for the legislation to lead to higher rate-increase requests from insurers.

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