million people

US health insurers raise rates to match increase in usage

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

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Millions could lose health coverage if premium subsidies expire later this year, officials say

Absent Congressional action, many consumers will see health-coverage costs skyrocket next year, Biden administration officials warned Wednesday. 

The American Rescue Plan, signed into law in March 2021, temporarily expanded premium tax credits available to consumers signing up for health coverage through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces. Those expanded tax credits are set to expire at the end of this year, and extending them would require Congressional legislation. 

“Time is of the essence,” Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said on a call with reporters Wednesday. As this fall’s open enrollment for 2023 marketplace coverage draws near, “we want to make sure that people know the subsidies will be in place,” she said. 

A record 14.5 million people signed up for coverage through the marketplaces during the open enrollment period that ended in January. The average monthly 2022 premium for HealthCare.gov enrollees was $111. Without the

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