The Connecticut Chamber Healthcare Coalition has been formed by the Connecticut Chamber of Commerce and its health insurance marketing partner the Chamber Insurance Trust as a means of addressing the spiraling costs of health care for its business members.
As previously reported, the group began looking at different ways to help keep those costs down last fall. Meetings were held at a number of the 65-plus chambers across the state over the past five months, where businesses and chamber executives discussed the programs needed by companies.
The Connecticut Department of Insurance has authorized rate increases for 2018 of as much as 31.7 percent for the individual market. Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Connecticut’s largest insurer, was authorized to increase rates that average more than 25 percent for the majority of its small business and nonprofit market. Nearly all of Connecticut’s major health insurers have posted double-digit rate increases.
“From Danbury to Danielson, members are telling chamber leaders that increasing health care costs are strangling their businesses,” said JoAnn Ryan, president of Connecticut’s Chambers of Commerce Leadership Council and president of the Northwest Chamber of Commerce in Torrington.
“The chambers have used our combined member power, working with our health care marketing partner the Chamber Insurance Trust of Orange to provide access to quality, affordable health plans for more than two decades,” Ryan said. “Connecticut health insurers in the past had been eager to create special programs, control rates, in exchange for marketing help and access to our members. That is no longer the case — the market has changed, and our coalition is a response.”
“Connecticut’s chambers have a local footprint across the entire state and, member or not, they work for every business,” said Chamber Insurance Trust CEO Steve Glick. “There are policies that the federal and state governments can do to help, and the Chambers will continue to advocate for those.
“However, we are not waiting,” he continued. “We’re innovating, and the CCHCC has a series of programs including a captive insurer, which pools members outside of a traditional insurance company.”