Health insurance rates in Wisconsin above averageAn independent review of health insurance rates across the country for individual policies shows Wisconsin is a little higher than average.
By: By Shamane Mills, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
An independent review of health insurance rates across the country for individual policies shows Wisconsin is a little higher than average.
Concern about premiums has intensified with health reform. So the government and outside groups are keeping track.
Earlier this year, a national study by theSociety of Actuaries made a big splash. It predicted insurers will pay a third more once the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented. Some of that would likely be passed on to consumers.
This isn’t the only group watching rates and making predictions. Steve Zeleznick is with a national health research organization that tracks premiums.
“It’s hard to say that anybody’s crystal ball is perfect where the rates are going to go, but it’s something very important to keep an eye on,” he said.
A snapshot of rates from February to May of this year shows rates are holding steady so far. Premiums for individual policies increased 1.2 percent nationally. However, in Wisconsin the increase was 5.4 percent. One insurer, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, pushed the state’s average up by boosting individual premiums nearly 10 percent. The information comes from the health research website Health Pocket. Zeleznick says its designed to help consumers select and rank health plans.
“We’ve done a lot of research on consumer views, and not surprisingly the level of premiums will drive very significantly people’s selection of health plans and their satisfaction with the health reform law,” he said.
The majority of changes under the Affordable Care Act occur in 2014. People will be required to buy insurance if they don’t get it through work. Subsidies will be available and online marketplaces are scheduled to be operating so people can choose private health coverage.