Brace yourself: Health insurance prices will be higher next year.
Word on Wall Street is that health insurance companies are set to raise prices next year faster than medical costs are increasing, putting pressure on employers who provide coverage to employees.
These increases are estimated to be 1% to 2% above current medical-cost trends, according to a recent article from Bloomberg.
Insurers are also dropping their “less profitable clients,” – i.e., employer groups that have sicker employees, “in order to boost margins,” writes Bloomberg. (Yes, you read that right.)
Essentially, insurers are pulling every string possible to push their eye-popping profits even higher – and for typical policy holders, that means increased premiums.
“The premium hikes could affect the nearly 160 million Americans who rely on health coverage through their workplace,” according to Money.com. So, if you’re one of the millions – nearly half the population of the United States – who gets their insurance through work, the profit-minded decisions of insurance company executives are poised to affect you and your family.
Premium increases in the last two years were moderate — about 2% — as payors reaped record-breaking pandemic profits due to patients receiving less care in 2020 and parts of 2021. But the inflation and return to care means many are expecting costs to rise, and if you think insurers are going to let that eat into their profits, think again.
We’ve already seen this for individual plans on the marketplace, and the Kaiser Family Foundation says we’re currently in “the calm before the storm, as recent inflation suggests that larger increases are imminent.”
The bottom line? For insurance companies, no matter how big their profit margins get, there’s always more cash to be made. And all it takes is a little (or not so little) bump to your monthly premium.