HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Lawmakers battled over insurance rates on Monday at the 2024 Health Insurance Rate Request Informational Meeting in Hartford.

The big insurance carriers in Connecticut including Anthem, Cigna and ConnectiCare are asking for a double-digit increase in what they charge for health insurance, according to state officials.

Attorney General William Tong (D-Conn.) pushed back against the rate increase request from health insurance companies and said the companies were asking for too much.

“These two huge companies and their executives will make a lot more money. We also know that these increases will punish and hurt Connecticut families,” Tong said.

Carries selling policies on and off the Connecticut Affordable Care Act exchange are asking for an increase of 12.4 percent on 2024 health care plans.

“If there is something we could do to reduce the consolidation of the hospitals. Some of these hospital systems. If you have one hospital system that has half the state, it’s hard to meet those standards,” ConnectiCare President Mark Meador said.

Insurance carriers are blaming the increase on higher costs and less hospital competition in the state.

“In the past, we have seen things such as the COVID-19 pandemic, federal and state mandates, this Medicaid unwinding, which occurs after our rates become final that we are required to account for,” Brandon Riff, vice president and actuary at Emblem Health.

Tong said there are a number of forecasts that predict medical cost increases will be less than half of what connecticut insurance companies are asking for.

“If you follow the money, you have to inquire what are the hospital’s prices, and are they justified,” said Ted Doolittle, a Connecticut health advocate.

The Connecticut Hospital Association released the following statement in part:

“This year, Connecticut hospitals and health systems worked collaboratively with the Governor and legislators to adopt policies that will help improve affordability and sustain world class healthcare delivery in Connecticut.  As the Governor says, it will take everyone working together to slow the rate of healthcare cost growth and we welcome other industry colleagues, including in the health insurance industry, to join in that work.  Addressing the rise in commercial health insurance cost growth also requires state partners to address the significant underpayment by Medicaid for healthcare services, which puts significant pressure on commercial health insurance costs. ”