A bill that would require public hearings and disclosure of data justifying health insurance rate hikes was approved by the legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee today on a 14-5 vote.

“It’s needed,” said Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, Jr. of Woodbridge, co-chairman of the committee, following the vote.

The proposal was launched last year after Anthem Health Plans Inc. requested a 23.5 percent increase in premiums for individual policies. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and the state’s Health Care Advocate Kevin Lembo say a more rigorous approval process is needed. But the state’s Insurance Commissioner Thomas R. Sullivan argues the process is working.

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Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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