Insurers are looking to raise rates on coverage being offered in 2016
Many of the country’s largest health insurance companies are looking to raise rates for the coverage they will provide in 2016. These insurers are seeking rate increases on policies provided through health insurance exchanges, and in some cases rates could go up by more than 40%. Blue Cross and Blue Shield is one of the insurers looking to raise premiums. For those living in Minnesota, coverage provided by the insurer could become significantly more expensive.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield seeks significant rate increases in several states
In Minnesota, Blue Cross and Blue Shield is looking to raise premiums by an average of 54%. Like other insurers, the company cites the rising cost of medical care and increasing claims payments as the justification for rate increases. The insurer is also looking to raise rates in other states, such as Tennessee, where it wants to bring up premiums by an average of 36%. Health insurance premiums have been increasing somewhat steadily since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010.
Consumers could save money by switching health plans, but they may lose their doctors
For those looking to mitigate their insurance costs, finding a new plan could be beneficial. According to a recent study from the Kaiser Family Foundation, those that changed plans saw a very modest increase in their insurance premiums. There is no guarantee that those switching plans would be able to keep their doctors, however, as different insurers support varied health care networks. For some, being able to continue seeing their favored health care provider is more attractive than saving money on their insurance coverage.
Regulators grant approval for premium increases
In many states, insurance regulators have approved rate increase proposals coming from insurers. Regulators are finding that the justification that insurers are providing for rate increases are adequate. Consumer advocacy groups have expressed concern over significant increases in premiums, as higher rates are placing consumers under greater financial strain that they may not be able to cope with. Those that cannot accommodate the growing cost of health insurance coverage may end up losing their coverage.