Saud Anwar

State Senator

Saud Anwar

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working For You

May 20, 2021

Sen. Anwar, After Extensive Work, is Proud to Join Senate Passage of Legislation Increasing Consumer Protection for Long-Term Care Insurance

Today, State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor) was proud to join the Senate in its passage of legislation overhauling long-term care insurance in Connecticut, specifically putting additional consumer protections in place to prevent customers from financial harm. The legislation imposes measures on insurers, HMOs and other organizations issuing and selling long-term care insurance, action made necessary by the spiking cost of long-term care insurance for many residents in recent years and decades. Long-term care is designed to protect residents from the cost of nursing homes, elder care assistance and health care made necessary as an individual ages, but fluctuations in the market have caused significant turmoil for policyholders in recent years facing significant increases in premiums.

“In recent years, I have been contacted by constituents struggling under the weight of long-term care insurance, specifically suffering from extreme, unfounded spikes in their insurance care rates that made this important coverage nigh-unaffordable,” said Sen. Anwar. “The steps we take today in passing this legislation will protect these residents from all but predatory business practices, preventing them from having to choose between dropping vital coverage or cutting costs on other important bills – an issue constituents have directly spoken to me about. I’m proud that my colleagues and I were achieve these positive benefits for those in need, but there is more to be done. These issues are so significant that I look forward to continuing the fight and working with the community and my colleagues to further support those struggling.”

Senate Bill 1046, “An Act Concerning Long-Term Care Insurance,” imposes consumer protection measures on insurers, HMOs, fraternal benefit societies and hospital or medical service corporations issuing and selling long-term care insurance policies in Connecticut, including the development of minimum affordable benefit options to be offered by them for increases in premium rates of 20% or more. It prohibits insurers from issuing, delivering or renewing long-term care insurance policies on or after January 1, 2022 unless an insurer is also authorized or licensed to sell other lines of insurance in the state.

The insurance commissioner must also develop a minimum set of affordable benefit options insurers must offer to policyholders if they file premium rate increases of 20% or more for LTC policy; by law, insurers filing for rate increases of 20% or more must spread the premium increase over at least three years, and the bill prohibits them from filing additional rate increases over those three years.

Sen. Anwar became involved in the issue of long-term care insurance in 2019, shortly after his election to the State Senate, as his constituents and residents around the state contacted him about the growing problems associated with it. Constituents reported premiums for insurance spiked as high as 300% in one year, in some cases forcing lapses in coverage as individuals could no longer afford programs they have paid into for many years, sometimes decades. In public testimony supporting the bill, two Connecticut residents aged 89 and 87 reported their premiums cost just over $6,000 per year when the policies were purchased in 2002; in 2021, the premiums in 2021 now cost $17,681 per year with no increase in Social Security, pension or retirement funds.

Policyholders paid for their policies; for them to lose coverage just as they will require services will negatively impact their health, as would eschewing other important financial obligations to cover the cost of extreme premiums. Several seniors testified to the Legislature citing 15% annual increases and reductions of quality of plans in recent years, highlighting an increased financial strain that requires action.