Consumers may need to shop around to find the best deal on their health insurance coverage

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Insurance premiums are growing and consumers may be paying too much if they stick with their current policies

With health insurance exchanges now open for business throughout the United States, consumers are being urged to shop around for the insurance coverage that they need. Insurers offering policies through exchanges will be increasing premiums for 2016 coverage. Some will be doing so by a significant margin, while others will be raising premiums by a modest degree. In order to find the best coverage at affordable rates, Sylvia Burwell, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services is urging consumers to shop extensively for policies that they need.

Federal agency encourages consumers to shop around for the coverage that they need

According to Burwell, health insurance premiums can seem excessively high for those with the same plan every year. Consumers may be able to find better deals, however, if they explore for plans from other providers. Even plans offered by their current insurer could be less expensive than the coverage that they already have. In many cases, consumers can find the same level of coverage, but coupled with lower premiums, which allows them to sidestep some of the financial pressure associated with having health insurance coverage.

Premiums are growing in North Carolina and elsewhere

Releigh, Capital of North Carolina, health insuranceIn North Carolina, many consumers are seeing a significant increase in insurance premiums, and they may benefit from shopping around for coverage. Three companies are offering policies through the state’s insurance exchange, which is operated by the federal government. For 2016 coverage, insurers are looking to increase premiums between 2.5% and 50%. Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the state’s largest insurance provider, is raising rates by an average of 32.5%. In many cases, consumers will be able to find policies will lower premiums without having to sacrifice their coverage benefits.

Subsidies help consumers afford their health insurance coverage

While the cost of insurance coverage is growing, consumers still have access to subsidies from the federal government. These subsidies are part of the Affordable Care Act and are meant to offset the overall cost of health insurance coverage. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the majority of those receiving coverage through insurance exchanges are also receiving subsidies from the federal government.

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