Health insurance companies request 13.5% premium increase for 2016

Jun 5, 2015

Health insurance companies are asking New York state to approve increases in 2016 premium costs.

If this year’s increase serves as a guide, 18 New York insurance companies will not be allowed to raise their premium rates the full 13.5 percent they’re requesting for 2016.

Last year, the state Department of Financial Services allowed plans on the individual insurance market to go up an average 5.7 percent, less than half the requested increase of nearly 14 percent.

Kev Coleman, head of research and data at HealthPocket.com, says this will be the first year since the Affordable Care Act became law that insurers will have an entire year of claims to report to the state department of financial services.

"They have to submit claims data too to justify their rate increase or decrease, depending on the particular insurer," Coleman said.

The cost of health care is the main driver of insurance premium costs. Coleman says insurers claim when the state doesn’t allow them to charge what they ask, they lose money,

"They said those rate increase are below the increase in health care costs, which for them isn’t reasonable."

New York consumers can review and comment on rate changes at the Department of Financial Services website.