Matt Lesser

State Senator

Matt Lesser

Deputy Majority Leader

Your Independent Voice

October 16, 2019

Senators Lesser and Anwar Hold Forum on Long-Term Care Insurance

EAST HARTFORD – Today, state Senators Matt Lesser (D-Middletown) and Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor) held a forum discussing long-term care insurance plans, premiums and expenses at the East Hartford Cultural Community Center featuring Josh Hershman, deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Insurance Department, Paul Lombardo, director of life and health for the CID, and Gerard O’Sullivan, consumer affairs director for the CID.

Sen. Lesser, the Senate Chair of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee and Sen. Anwar, who is a member of the committee, held the forum to strengthen their understanding of the increasing issues long-term care insurance presents for buyers and members of the public. With Deputy Commissioner Hershman and Directors Lombardo and O’Sullivan, the senators informed the public of their knowledge of the insurance cost premium issue and their plans to lower these skyrocketing prices.

“Families and seniors are facing real sticker shock from astronomical long term care insurance hikes,” Sen. Lesser said. “America is facing nothing less than a crisis in long term care. Today’s forum was an opportunity to hear from the Connecticut Insurance Department about the state of regulation, and opportunity to hear from members of the public about how this is affecting them. I am committed to working with Sen. Anwar and other members of the Insurance Committee as we try to find ways to ease the burden on policyholders.”

“In recent months, I’ve heard a number of concerns from my constituents regarding long-term care insurance, with some extreme cases involving premium payment increases of up to 300 percent,” said Sen. Anwar. “Seeing as most buyers and users of long-term care insurance purchase it to protect them from rising medical costs as they age, these increases pose a direct risk and threat to their well-being. Whether an individual has to drop their insurance or choose which bills to pay to afford the insurance – which many people have paid into for years, if not decades – this is an issue that we must address now and cannot allow to worsen. This forum is an opportunity for us to not only inform the public of what we know, but to learn from their experiences as well, giving us more insight of what we can do in the 2020 legislative session to lessen their struggles.”

In recent years, fewer companies provide the service, and cost plans are increasing at precipitous rates, often because providers’ financial models underestimated price increases of medical expenses. A Los Angeles Times column, published Oct. 1, gave the example of one policy rate growing by 80 percent year-to-year. In Connecticut, more than 575,000 people were or are over the age of 65 as of 2016, creating a growing problem for long-term care insurance holders.

Sens. Lesser and Anwar seek to implement consumer-friendly policies to lower insurance rates, providing rate holders with financial security and knowledge that their health will not be negatively impacted by these changes. The senators plan to discuss future legislative proposals with their colleagues on the Insurance and Real Estate Committee.