How High Will Health Insurance Rates Go and What Can We Do About It?
By Jill Zorn |
Health insurers’ annual rate proposals are due to the Connecticut Insurance Department on July 16 and we expect public hearings to be scheduled later this summer.
Because the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is under constant attack from Washington and the cost of medical care and prescription drugs are continuing to rise, all signs point to another year of “eye popping” increases. The question is, what can we do to push back against unaffordable health insurance rates?
An Unstable Environment
There is nothing worse for insurance markets than uncertainty. The ACA relies on a market-based system of competing private insurers, but also on a series of complex rules a willing federal government must enforce to ensure affordable comprehensive coverage. Instead, since the 2016 election, Donald Trump is intent on destroying the ACA, Congress is still considering repealing the law, and the potential for a reconfigured Supreme Court is putting the law very much at risk.
Predicting how much medical prices will rise next year is not an exact science. But there is no question that health care prices are on the rise. It doesn’t help that prescription drug corporations have the unchecked power to raise medication prices as much as they want. And large hospital systems like Yale New Haven Health or Hartford HealthCare have the negotiating power to demand price increases from private insurers.
Make Sure Your Voice is Heard
With double-digit rate increases expected, it is important now more than ever for everyday people to weigh in during the insurance rate review process. The Foundation will provide updates once the rates are filed. And we will be sending out a call to action to let you know how you can make your voice heard. Regulators need to be reminded that they are working for you, not powerful insurance and provider interests.