Aetna Becomes Third Insurer To Submit Rates For State Health Exchange

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Aetna this week became the third insurer to submit proposed rates for new health plans offered later this year on Connecticut’s public health exchange.

Aetna filed the suggested rates with regulators at the Connecticut Insurance Department on Thursday. Starting Oct. 1, individuals and small businesses will be able to shop an online marketplace, Access Health CT, for coverage during the 2014 calendar year.

The company is proposing individual health plans that will range in cost from $111 to $1,175 per year, with an average monthly premium of $363.56.

Aetna will offer high-deductible health insurance, called a catastrophic plan, which is typically attractive to young, healthy people who want to pay a lower monthly premium because they don’t expect to have many medical expenses. It’s sort of a just-in-case plan, and there are limitations under the Affordable Care Act about who may purchase such a plan.

Aetna also will offer plans that cover different percentages of a customer’s total health care costs — factoring in how much a person pays in copays and deductibles. The percentage of cost coverage, called actuarial value, is measured by the federal government in categories named for precious medals: a bronze health plan covers 60 percent of a patient’s costs, silver covers 70 percent, gold covers 80 percent, and platinum covers 90 percent.

Aetna’s proposed average premium is $356 for a bronze plan, $487 for a silver plan and $477 for a gold plan. Prices will vary depending on where a person lives in Connecticut, whether the person uses tobacco and the person’s age, among other factors.

The Affordable Care Act passed by Congress in March 2010 established health exchanges as a way to offer a competitive marketplace where individuals and small businesses may compare prices and shop for health plans. It’s an optional place to buy coverage for those who don’t have health insurance through an employer, a union or a government plan, such as Medicare, Medicaid or HUSKY.

Exchanges will be the only place that individuals and families who earn up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level — which is $44,680 for an individual or $92,200 for a family of four — may tap into federal subsidies to offset a portion of the cost of health insurance.

Last week, ConnectiCare submitted proposed rates to the state Insurance Department with a base rate of $397 per month for individual plans, which doesn’t take into account adjustments for age and geographic area.

Two weeks ago, a new co-op called HealthyCT requested monthly prices ranging from $142 to $1,364 for individual plans, with an average price of $427.

“On the basis of our initial review, it appears that the Aetna submission is an attractive rate filing for consumers in Connecticut … We are encouraged by the rates that have been submitted thus far and we believe they represent a positive outlook for consumers and small businesses in our state,” said Kevin Counihan, CEO of Access Health CT.

About Matthew Sturdevant

Full-time staff journalist at The Hartford Courant and magazine freelancer with a master's degree in writing from Dartmouth. My work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Taiwan News, The Baltimore Sun and many other news sources. My blog has been referenced by, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Georgetown Law Library and a number of organizations in healthcare and business. Sturdevant’s blog is "a well-written wealth of ideas," said The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, (, May 18, 2011). I have experience writing for newspapers, magazines, Web sites and blogs as well as shooting and editing video. I made regular appearances on news-talk radio and on the NBC affiliate station in Corpus Christi, Texas. I made occasional appearances on the Fox affiliate in Connecticut promoting Hartford Courant articles.

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5 thoughts on “Aetna Becomes Third Insurer To Submit Rates For State Health Exchange

  1. pete

    I find it interesting Aetna chose not to offer these policies in CA – a far bigger market than CT – saying it was uneconomical. Did DANNY BOY twist Aetna’s arms to do this.

  2. Mason McDaniel

    “The company is proposing individual health plans that will range in cost from $111 to $1,175 per year, with an average monthly premium of $363.56.”

    That should probably read “per month.”

  3. ???

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