Connecticut lawmakers to focus on reducing healthcare costs

Politicians in Connecticut are vowing to cut the rising costs of healthcare in the state's upcoming legislative session after hearing from representatives of insurance companies, healthcare groups and pharmaceutical companies, the Connecticut Mirror reported Dec. 5.

Some of the main drivers to rising costs were the increase in medical services caused by obesity and unhealthy lifestyles, one insurance leader in the state said. There was also a significant rise in drug prices.

Insurance carriers in July asked for an average rate hike of 20 percent on 2023 individual health plans, an increase far higher than any requested or approved in recent years, the report said. The state signed off on a 13 percent average hike.

Connecticut also signed off on an 8 percent hike for small group plans after insurers asked for a 15 percent average.

While lifestyles were a factor, social determinants of health also needed to be taken into account, Patrick Charmel, president and CEO of Derby-based Griffin Hospital, said during the meeting.

Everyone must work together across the sector to reduce cost pressures, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said.

"I call on every party to join together to address this problem — hospitals, physicians, pharmaceutical manufacturers and benefit managers, insurance carriers and large and small employers all have indispensable roles to play in tackling the high costs of healthcare," he said.

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