HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – A public hearing was held Monday as some major health insurance companies are proposing increasing rates of more than 20%.

It is not uncommon for insurance companies to request rate increases, according to officials. It is uncommon, however, for those increases to be as high as 25%. But that’s what some companies are asking for.

Overall, these companies looking for an increase represent nearly 206,000 Connecticut residents.

“ConnecticutCare Benefits requested a 24.1% increase. ConnecticutCare Insurance Company requested a 25.2% increase,” said CT Insurance Commissioner Andrew Mais.

These proposed increases have raised both state and federal alarms.

“The health insurers want to add to the burdens of consumers recklessly, unnecessarily, and unconscionably. They don’t need this rate increase, they have record profits,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D – Connecticut).

Some people think the proposal is just a way for insurance companies to make more money.

“These insurance companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on stock buybacks which enrich corporate insiders and profits and executive pay,” said Liz Dupont-Diehl, from the CT Citizen Research Group.

But, insurance companies are worried about the future. Officials said they are going to need these rate hikes to cover increases in both medical and pharmaceutical costs.

“Doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies are seeking to charge more for their services in 2023. We also know that utilization of services will continue to grow,” said ConnectiCare President Karen Moran.

Moran also said they’re actually losing money.

“For the past year, the total insurance premium that we have received is far less than the cost of care we have actually funded,” she said.

She said ConnectiCare lost more than $65 million, as people are going back to the doctor to make up what they didn’t get during the pandemic. That is expensive, and inflation is making everything else more expensive, too.

But with the proposed hikes, health care advocates are worried some people will simply go without insurance because they can’t afford it.

“We believe that people will just drop their health insurance and particularly small businesses who have been trying really hard to cover their employees,” said Lynne Ide, from the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut.

Democratic lawmakers will hear from both the companies and the public at Monday’s public hearing.

The meeting will be held at the Legislative office building in Hartford. Officials said sign-up starts at 8:30.

Officials said that no decision will be made on rates at Monday’s gathering, at the earliest that decision will come sometime in September. With the Attorney General asking to delay the decision until further research is done, it may come even later.