State regulators approve health insurance rate increases
Health insurance rates are expected to go up in Kansas next year. The Kansas Insurance Department has approved rate increases for individual coverage after having received proposals from many companies operating in the state. Rate increases are expected to affect those seeking coverage through the state’s insurance exchange as well as directly from insurers. For some, the premium hikes may present more financial strain, as state regulators have approved significant increases.
Premiums expected to rise by an average of 25.4%
Initially, some insurers had sought to increase premiums by as much as 39%. State regulators have, however, approved rate increases of an average of 25.4%. For some consumers, the rate increases will be higher, with their premiums being affected by several factors, such as chronic health conditions. The rate increases coming from insurers will not apply to those receiving coverage through their employers, however, as group insurance rates are not expected to increase by a significant degree.
Insurers are having to handle more claims than in the past
This year represents the first year that insurance companies have had full experience with claims associated with coverage provided through the Affordable Care Act. The federal law saw the establishment of health insurance exchanges, which lead to many more people acquiring coverage. The growing number of people with insurance coverage also means more claims, as people are using their coverage to receive the medical care they did not have access to before they had coverage.
Rate hikes allow insurers to recover from financial losses
Kansas is home to the fifth-highest risk score for individual insurance plans in the country, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services. This means that consumers in Kansas are riskier to provide coverage to than those living in other states. In order to recover from losses and adequately manage risks, insurers have had to raise rates on health insurance coverage. It has proven difficult to mitigate this issue and insurers often butt heads with regulators concerning how much premiums should be increased.