Data suggests health care is unaffordable for many
New data from the New York Public Interest Research Group and the state’s Department of Financial Services suggests that health insurance coverage in New York may cost more than consumers can afford. State data shows that New York City residents that have to purchase health insurance coverage on their own could be facing six-digit figures every year in costs. Even the least expensive coverage for families could cost tens of thousands of dollars annually, adding financial stress to those already struggling in a fragile economy and driving many people to go without health insurance coverage.
Family plans cost as much as $100,000 per year
According to state data, some family plans can breach $100,000 per year. Less expensive plans, which also provide fewer benefits, can cost $55,000 per year. Individuals also face high costs, with some comprehensive plans costing as much as $18,000 annually, or $40,000 for the state’s GHI HMO Select program. The cost of health insurance has been highlighted as a serious issue in New York, where such expensive coverage is threatening to force people to go without insurance coverage at all.
Health insurance costs driving many to go without coverage
At one point, New York City boasted of over 100,000 self-insured individuals. That number has shrunk over the years, with it reaching just 9,863 in 2011. According to the Department of Financial Services, health insurance premiums have been on the rise for the past decade, driven up by a variety of factors. The agency notes that many health residents simply went without coverage, leaving the market flooded with those that would have to make use of their health insurance policies. These consumers represent a significant financial risk, thus driving up premiums.
Exchange system may alleviate some financial strain
A health insurance exchange may be able to offset the financial aspects associated with comprehensive coverage, but New York is not required to have such a system in place until 2014. The HMOs that serve the city cite rising medical costs as the reason behind growing insurance premiums. New York regulators were recently awarded the authority to deny or approve rate increase proposals through legislation in an attempt to rein in on the rate at which health insurance premiums were rising.