State regulators have approved significant health insurance rate increases for 2022 that are said to reflect recent pent-up demand for medical procedures and services that people put off because of earlier COVID-19 surges.
The increases OK'd by the
The rate hikes are much bigger than what regulators approved last year because insurers saw fewer claims during the pandemic as people delayed elective procedures and made fewer visits to the doctor. Those previous increases, 1.4% for small groups and 1.1% for individual policies, were unusually low by historical standards.
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"Last year, because of COVID, the rates were relatively flat," Embry said. "I think a lot of people were putting off going to the doctor, putting off having procedures done."
A bit of good news is that rates for many dental and vision plans are staying flat or even going down next year, Embry said. He attributes that circumstance to people putting off returning to the dentist or optometrist for longer than they did the doctor.
"On the dental and vision side, we've actually seen rate reductions for two years," he said.
The open enrollment period for individual policies on the Healthcare.gov website begins
Rate increases on individual policies will not directly impact everyone who shops for a plan on Healthcare.gov because the Affordable Care Act subsidies for income-eligible individuals also increase as sticker prices on policies increase.
A survey by the
Contact JC Reindl: 313-222-6631 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jcreindl. Read more on business and sign up for our business newsletter.
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