1000’s prone to face sticker shock for medical insurance – InsuranceNewsNet


SALEM – Greater than 300,000 Oregonians who buy medical insurance for themselves or through a small group plan are prone to see a spike in premiums next 12 months.

The medical insurance firms that provide plans on the person marketplace and people that provide group plans are looking for average rate increases approaching 7%, in line with the state Department of Consumer and Business Services, which regulates health insurers.

In the person market, the requested rate increases for 2023 range from 2.3% to 12.6%, with a weighted average increase of 6.7%, the department said. Meaning a 40-year-old with a mid-range plan could pay as much as $507 a month if the rates are approved.

Within the small group market, the nine firms offering plans asked for increases from 0% to 11.6%, or as much as $446 a month for premiums, the department said.

As compared, the fee of plans in effect this 12 months barely budged from 2021, going up by a weighted average of about 1.5% in the person and group markets.

The insurers said inflation, an increase in medical costs and changes in enrollment necessitated the increases, in line with the department. Health care costs in america, which spends a bigger share of its gross domestic product on health care than some other industrialized country, rose nearly 5% in 2019, nearly 10% in 2020 and nearly 7% last 12 months. The state is attempting to curb increases and has a goal of a yearly stand up to three.4%. That ceiling is in effect for Medicaid and state-paid medical insurance plans, however it will not be mandatory for industrial insurers.

The department has two months to review and approve rates for 2023. The general public will have the option to comment online later this month about them.

The general public comment period starts later this month and runs to July 7 online. There can be public hearings online on July 27 and 28. Go to oregonhealthrates.org for information.

Besides potential rate hikes, consumers can be hit with lower subsidies: Boosted subsidies from the federal government in place for 2021 and this 12 months will end in the beginning of 2023. They’ve cut premiums by a median of 46%. That enabled individuals who earned between $13,590 and $27,180 a 12 months to purchase a low-end plan for $1 a month.

The department said it could possibly be worse. Without the state’s reinsurance plan, which uses federal money to scale back premium costs, the rates would increase one other 6%. Insurance Commissioner Andrew Stolfi said this system has kept premiums reasonable and given Oregonians selection.

“Oregon continues to have a robust and competitive insurance marketplace, with 4 carriers offering plans statewide and Oregonians in most (of) our counties having 5 – 6 firms to pick from,” Stolfi said in a press release.

Stolfi encouraged consumers to comment on the plans and costs and take part in virtual hearings on July 27 and 28. Through the hearings, each insurer will give a presentation about its rate requests, answer questions from the department and hearken to the general public.

“We stay up for an intensive public review of those filings as we work to ascertain next 12 months’s medical insurance rates,” Stolfi said.

The department will make a preliminary rate decision in early July, with a final decision in early August.


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