The cost of the coverage will be rising by an estimated 2.5 percent, on average, this summer.
Policies that are purchased or renewed by individuals and small businesses, as of July 1, in Massachusetts, will be facing an increase in their health insurance rates at an average of 2.5 percent.
This is a lower increase than the rate hike that was seen for the policies renewing in the current quarter.
The increase that was experienced by health insurance policyholders who renewed or purchased during the current quarter had been an average 2.7 percent. It has been estimated that there will be approximately 147,000 or more people who will be impacted by the rate changes in the third quarter of 2013. These rate changes were already approved by the Division of Insurance and have landed well within the rate increase cap that was set by the Patrick administration during the legislation created last year for controlling the cost of healthcare.
The legislation links the spending on healthcare and health insurance to the growth of the economy.
This year’s projected growth will be 3.6 percent in Massachusetts. Beyond the base rates for health insurance, though, employers are required to pay more in order to compensate for any risks that are connected with their location, industry, or their average workforce age. This can mean that they will pay slightly more than the average rate increase.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts had their base rate hike of 3.6 percent approved. This increase was for the largest health insurance company in the state, as well as its HMO subsidiary. Other increases included 2.8 percent for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and its HMO branch. Tufts Health plan saw a base increase of 3.5 percent with its HMO business increasing its rates by 3.6 percent. Fallon Community Health Plan’s rates are still being reviewed, according to the insurance division.
The undersecretary of consumer affairs and business regulation, Barbara Anthony, stated that the lower health insurance rate increases were directed toward individuals a smaller number of people suing healthcare services. This was because insurers, providers, and the state were working together to make sure that the rates remain as low as possible.