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Your health insurance costs could go up a lot next year. Here's why

A stock image of a health insurance claim form.
Sashkin
/
Adobe Stock
A stock image of a health insurance claim form.

New York state officials are going over proposed increases in health insurance by a variety of companies and most of those insurers are asking for double-digit hikes in premiums.

The fact that insurance companies are asking for an increase in premiums in 2024 shouldn’t come as a surprise. With the ongoing increasing cost of health care due to a variety of factors, health insurers doing business in New York generally do ask the state’s Department of Financial Services for permission to raise rates.

But it’s also pretty common that when the actual decision on rates is released later this month, the state will probably slash some of the heftier increases.

And that method of operation rankles The Health Plan Association, which represents insurance companies.

A report out this yearfrom that association says that what it calls "continued suppression of premium rates" will make it difficult for health plans to make ongoing investments in efforts to improve the quality of care, programs to reduce health inequities and also impact other initiatives.

The association said that health insurance premiums in New York state are among the nation’s highest due in large part to the prices charged for health care services, which it says are much higher than the national average.

In any case, many of the insurance company requests for higher premiums are being objected to by dozens of consumers who have filed comments with the state, with many of them saying they simply can’t afford the higher premiums being requested.

The rate requests for individual plans range from 52.7% for customers of Emblem to 13.3% for MVP Health Plan subscribers. MVP is requesting an 11% increase for the small group market.

MVP has a substantial presence in the Rochester-Finger Lakes area as does Excellus, which is requesting a 15.2% increase for individual plans, and 12.6% in the small group market.

In terms of what a subscriber actually ends up paying can vary from the increases that are eventually approved, depending on what insurance benefit their employer may be providing.

The New York State Department of Financial Services is expected to release its decision on the rate hike requests later this month.

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Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.