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Health insurance premiums likely to go up in New York

New York State will soon release the rates it’s approved for premiums for health insurance.

Insurers filed their requests to the state earlier this year for the premiums they want to charge in 2017. In general, they asked for bigger increases than they have in the past.

But bigger increases to premiums are expected across the country. Cynthia Cox, Associate Director of Health Reform and Private Insurance at the Kaiser Family Foundation, said this expected boost is a correction of sorts.

“A number of insurance companies just priced too low to be sustainable, so they lost a lot of money,” she said. “And that’s part of why we’re seeing much bigger increases going into 2017.”

Cox said New York stacks up favorably to the rest of the U.S., especially when it comes to the state’s health insurance marketplace. There are fifteen insurance companies offering plans on the exchange, more than most states.

“That can mean that there’s more competition and more ability to keep premiums moderate,” she said.

Cox also said New York devotes more money into reviewing rate requests.

Still, companies are asking for some significant increases to premiums. A Kaiser analysis looked at the second-cheapest “Silver” plan on various exchanges, since these plans are used as benchmarks for determining government subsidies for health insurance. For New York City residents, this plan would cost 16 percent more in 2017 – if the insurance company gets the rate hike it requested.

According to Cox, people receiving government subsidies shouldn’t see this hike if they shop for a new plan. She also cited the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office when saying that the prices are still lower than what was predicted when lawmakers wrote the Affordable Care Act

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