Connecticut rejects request by Anthem for 12.5 percent rate request, calling it excessive

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

Commissioner Thomas Leonardi said Tuesday the rate request is excessive. He said Anthem may submit a revised proposal.

Spokesman Scott Golden said Anthem will announce its next step after it reviews the Insurance Department'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.