HHS releases information showing premiums are growing throughout the country
Premiums for several popular health insurance plans sold through HealthCare.gov will be going up in 2016. The Department of Health and Human Services has released a “snapshot” of the plans that will be available through the federal exchange gateway, showing that rates are on the rise. On average, rates for the exchange’s most popular plans will be going up by 7.5%, though premiums for some plans will be going up by a larger margin.
Some states will see more modest rate increases than others
According to the federal agency, rate increases vary across the country. The snapshot that the agency released shows that states with high populations and large metropolitan areas will see relatively modest premium increases for health insurance plans. Smaller states are expected to see more noticeable rate increases. In Oklahoma, for instance, insurance premiums are expected to grow by an average of 35%. Some states, will actually see rates fall slightly. This is the case in Indiana, where premiums are expected to decrease by nearly 13%.
Policies sold through state-run exchanges are also becoming more expensive
The snapshot only accounts for policies being sold through federal exchanges, which have been established in 37 states. Some states have opted to develop their own health insurance exchanges. Federal exchanges are not the only marketplaces that are seeing rate increases, of course, as insurers throughout the country have announced plans to raise premiums. Some insurers have justified rate increases by claiming that more consumers are beginning to use their coverage more frequently. Many of these consumers were uninsured before exchanges existed, and they translate into financial losses for insurers.
Subsidies will take some financial pressure off of consumers
Most consumers receiving coverage through federal health insurance exchanges also receive subsidies from the federal government. These subsidies help cut the cost of insurance coverage, making it more affordable and accessible to a wider range of consumers. Those not receiving subsidies could find it more difficult to afford their health plans due to the rate increases coming from insurance providers.