Covid-19 Costs and Inflation Cause Health Insurance Rates to Soar

Covid-19 Costs and Inflation Cause Health Insurance Rates to Soar

By Yehudit Garmaise

Health insurance rates soon will join gas and food prices that have soared into the stratosphere.

As Covid-19 continues to create ongoing costs and inflation continues to surge, insurers say that they must increase health insurance premiums by 18.7% next year for individuals and 16.5% for small group plans, state records show.

Covid’s high costs of testing, treatment, and vaccines and the masses of New Yorkers who are seeking healthcare that they deferred throughout the pandemic are factors that is driving up healthcare costs, insurers say.

“Health insurance premiums are directly tied to the underlying cost of care, and the continued growth in health care costs further add to premiums,” explained Eric Linzer, the president and CEO of the state Health Plan Association, which represents insurers.

Linzer urged regulators to ensure that they only approve insurance rates for next year that "fully reflect the factors contributing to the growth in health care costs," to avoid compromising New Yorkers’ access to high-quality and affordable health care.

While the increased rates would impact the pocketbooks of millions of New Yorkers who are insured through private insurers and through the NY State of Health, the state Department of Financial Services (DFS), which regulates healthcare costs, may be able to help.

Last year, after health insurers sought to raise health insurance rates by 11.2% for individuals and by 14% for group plans, the DFS helped New Yorkers by only providing approval when insurers came down to 3.7% increases for individuals and 7.6% spikes for small group plans, lohud reported.

DFS regulators, who will finalize 2023 health insurance rates in August, have said their goal is to approve rates that account for both healthcare costs and the economic strains facing New Yorkers.

Photo: Flickr

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