Open enrollment begins and health insurance premiums are on the rise
Open enrollment has begun in Idaho and throughout the United States. Your Health Idaho, the state’s health insurance exchange, has begun offering policies for those looking for coverage. Consumers will be able to use the exchange to renew the policies they purchased through the exchange during the last enrollment period and they will be able to find new policies as well. The issue, however, is that health insurance premiums are on the rise, which may become a problem for consumers.
Insurers are raising rates on the coverage that they provide
More than 200 health insurance plans are available through the state’s insurance exchange and many of these policies also provide full dental coverage. Many consumers now have the opportunity to find coverage for themselves and their families, but they will be faced with higher insurance rates next year. Blue Cross of Idaho is one of the insurers offering coverage through the state’s exchange, and the company has plans to raise premiums for 2016 coverage.
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Blue Cross of Idaho has increased premiums by an average of 23%
Blue Cross of Idaho will be raising rates for 2016 coverage by an average of 23%, with another insurer, SelectHealth, raising rates by an average of 15%. These rate increases have been approved by the state’s insurance regulators. Some state officials fear that higher insurance premiums will discourage consumers from purchasing the health insurance coverage that they need. Per federal law, all U.S. citizens must have active insurance coverage or fax tax penalties. Costly coverage, however, could mean that many consumers will go without coverage.
Many consumers may not be eligible for subsidies that help them afford health insurance coverage
Many people have access to federal subsidies that offset the overall cost of health insurance coverage offered through exchanges, but those likely to bear the full weight of the financial impacts associated with higher premiums will not have access to these subsidies. This is because their income is too high, but not high enough to make the financial burden of insurance policies negligible.