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Small Business Employee Benefits and HR Blog

Health Insurance Costs Continue to Rise in 2010-2011

September 22, 2010
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health insurance costs risingIn the past month, there have been reports of many "unexpected" health insurance premium increases. 

According to the administration, the changes that go into effect September 23rd, 2010 should only increase premiums by approximately 1-2%. However, many insurance companies are suggesting that the new requirements are having a much larger impact on premiums.  For example:

“Health Insurers … Have Asked For Premium Increases Of Between 1% And 9% To Pay For Extra Benefits Required Under The [Democrat Health Care] Law.” “Health insurers say they plan to raise premiums for some Americans as a direct result of the health overhaul in coming weeks, complicating Democrats' efforts to trumpet their signature achievement before the midterm elections. Aetna Inc., some BlueCross BlueShield plans and other smaller carriers have asked for premium increases of between 1% and 9% to pay for extra benefits required under the law, according to filings with state regulators.” (“Health Insurers Plan Hikes,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/8/10)

“Aetna, One Of The Nation's Largest Health Insurers, Said The Extra Benefits Forced It To Seek Rate Increases For New Individual Plans Of 5.4% To 7.4% In California And 5.5% To 6.8% In Nevada After Sept. 23. Similar steps are planned across the country, according to Aetna.” (“Health Insurers Plan Hikes,”The Wall Street Journal, 9/8/10)

“Regence BlueCross BlueShield Of Oregon Said The Cost Of Providing Additional Benefits Under The Health Law Will Account On Average For 3.4 Percentage Points…” (“Health Insurers Plan Hikes,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/8/10)

"Health Insurers Are Asking For Immediate Rate Hikes Of More Than 20 Percent In Connecticut For Some Plans, Citing Rising Medical Costs And Federal Health Reform Laws As Reasons. Both issues — the new federal health care reform and rising medical costs — are significant drivers of the increases, according to filings by insurers with state regulators that were reviewed by The Courant.” (“Health Insurers Seeking Rate Hikes Of More Than 20 Percent In Connecticut,” The Hartford Courant, 9/15/10)

“In Justifying Rate Increases Sought In Connecticut, Anthem Said That One Provision Of The New Law, Forbidding Insurers To Impose Lifetime Limits On Coverage Of ‘Essential Health Benefits,’ Could Cause Premiums For Some Policies To Rise As Much As 22.9 Percent.” (“Medicare Advantage Premiums To Fall In 2011,” The New York Times, 9/22/10) 

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