SACRAMENTO, California (AP) — After putting off routine health care for much of the pandemic, Americans are now returning to doctors’ offices in big numbers — a trend that’s starting to show up in higher insurance rates across the country.
Health insurers in individual marketplaces across 13 states and Washington D.C. will raise rates an average of 10% next year, according to a review of rate filings by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
That’s a big increase after premiums remained virtually flat for several years during the pandemic as insurers seek to recoup costs for more people using their policies, combined with record-high inflation that is driving up prices for virtually everything, including health care.
The rates review included Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont and Washington.
“We’re at a point in the pandemic where people are using health care that they
Hundreds of thousands of public workers, early retireesm and school employees in New Jersey are facing potential rate increases of as much as 24% for health benefits under proposals being considered by the State Health Benefits Commission.
Rate increases being considered include a 24% increase for medical and a 3.7% increase for pharmacy benefits for active public workers, as well as a 15.6% increase in medical and a 26.1% increase in pharmacy benefits for public workers who retired before the age of 65, according to an email sent to county administrators from New Jersey Association of Counties Executive Director John Donnadio.
Donnadio said in the email that the figures, which haven’t been made public, were shared by an insurance and benefits broker.
StateTreasury spokeswoman Jennifer Sciortino acknowledged rate increases were being considered and added that rates for active members and early retirees would likely increase between 12-20% across the various
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By Gina Cousineau
As a nutrition expert and trained chef, you might think I am outside of my scope of practice when I tell you my goal is to save my clients’ lives, not only one plate at a time, but also through teaching them how to advocate for their health.
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — If the federal Premium Tax Credits expire due to legislative inaction in U.S. Congress, over half a million Floridians will lose their health insurance. The PTCs were set up through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which temporarily expanded eligibility to pay for health insurance through 2022.
So far, U.S. Congress efforts in the House and Senate have failed to finalize a plan to extend the PTC credits, putting over 3 million people at risk of losing their health care coverage, purchased through the market set up by the Affordable Care Act of 2010.
Of the 3.12 million across the U.S., based on estimates by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Urban Institute, 513,000 of those who would lose their insurance are Florida residents. That’s 16% of Americans at risk
Nine insurance companies have asked the state Insurance Department to approve double-digit rate hikes for individual and small business health insurance plans that start in 2023. The proposed average individual rate request is a 20.4% increase compared to 8.6% in 2022.
The department “has received 13 rate filings from nine health insurers for plans that will be offered on the individual and small group market, both on and off the state-sponsored exchange, Access Health CT,” Insurance Department Commissioner Andrew Mais said. “Working within the authority granted to this department, we will closely examine these filings to make sure the requested rates are consistent with state law.”
ConnectiCare Benefits is proposing an average 24.1% increase for its individual plans offered on the exchange.
Insurance companies that sell policies on and off Connecticut’s Affordable Care Act exchange are seeking an average increase of 20.4% on individual health plans next year, alarming advocates who fear people will forgo insurance because they can’t pay.
The rate hike requests were released by the state Insurance Department Friday. On small group plans, the carriers are asking for an average increase of 14.8%.
The requested increases are substantially higher than those sought last year for 2022 health policies. Carriers in 2021 asked for an average hike of 8.6% on individual plans and 12.9% on small group plans.
“It’s jaw dropping,” said Lynne Ide, program lead for communications outreach and engagement at the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut. “Looking at these rate requests, the ranges are off the charts.
“Our big concern right now is, coupled with inflation and the fallout from COVID, these proposed increases spell trouble.
Colorado became the first state in the country to have a state-designed health care insurance option for its residents approved by CMS last Thursday.
Approval of the Colorado Option through the federal1332 waiver now means the state can proceed with rate setting for its standardized health insurance plan, which is mandated to be sold at lower prices and should be finalized by summer’s end to take effect in 2023, culminating a decade’s worth of health policy efforts aimed at reducing health care costs.
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Those efforts include the state’s reinsurance program, which was extended for an additional 5 years last year and spreads risk across the health insurance market to help insurers pay expensive claims, and the Hospital Provider Fee that supports hospitals serving Medicaid and uninsured patients.
Tina Passione needed health insurance in a hurry in December. The newly retired 63-year-old was relocating to suburban Atlanta with her husband to be closer to grandchildren. Their house in Pittsburgh flew off the market, and they had six weeks to move out 40 years of memories.
Passione said she went online to search for the federal health insurance marketplace, clicked on a link, and entered her information. She promptly got multiple calls from insurance brokers and bought a plan for $384 a month. Later, though, when she went to a pharmacy and doctor offices in Georgia, she was told she did not have insurance.
In fact, it said it right on her card: “THIS IS NOT INSURANCE.”
Passione is one of 10 consumers who told KHN that they thought they were buying insurance but learned later that they had been sold a membership to a