NY health insurance premiums to increase
Aug 13, 2019 12:30 pm
Bethany Bump is reporting for the Times Union health insurance premiums will go up roughly 6.8 percent next year for individuals and 7.9 percent for employers who purchase coverage on New York's state-run health exchange. The rate increases were approved and announced by the state Department of Financial Services August 9. The department claimed to have saved consumers more than $50 million and small business more than $313 million by negotiating with insurers. The rates requested by insurers would have raised premiums more than 9 percent for individuals and in excess of 12 percent for employers. Insurers say the rate hikes are primarily caused by rising drug and hospital costs, as well as the reinstatement next year of a federal health insurance tax. The federal tax was implemented under the Affordable Care Act in 2014 to help pay for federal and state-run health insurance exchanges. In 2018, Congress approved a one-year moratorium on the tax, which ends this year. HealthNow New York will be imposing the largest average rate hike on the individual market at 8.6 percent. The company, which offers plans in the Capital Region through BlueShield of Northeastern New York, initially asked for a 10 percent hike. A report released last month by the New York State Health Foundation and Health Care Cost Institute found that increased prices are the main factor driving rising health care costs, not an increase in people using health care services. Read the full story in the Times Union.