Connecticut nixes rate increase by WellPoint subsidiary

The Connecticut Insurance Department has rejected a 12.5-percent rate increase proposed by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the state's largest health insurer.

Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Thomas Leonardi said Tuesday the rate request is excessive. He said Anthem, a unit of Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc., may submit a revised proposal.

Spokesman Scott Golden said Anthem will announce its next step after it reviews the state's decision.

The rate increase for individual plans was proposed to begin Jan. 1 and would have affected more than 66,000 policyholders, including some who recently purchased their policies through Access Health CT, the state's health insurance exchange.

Anthem told state regulators that the rate increase was needed because of higher costs for medical services and pharmaceuticals — especially drugs for treating Hepatitis C — and fees levied by the federal government as part of the Affordable Care Act.

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