How to Get a Better Rate for Your Health Insurance Coverage
Insurers are expected to start rolling out new rates for health insurance next week, as the industry faces its first significant overhaul since President Donald Trump took office.
The industry is also hoping to put a dent in a recent wave of retirements, which are expected as many as 4 million people would be leaving the insurance market next year.
But there are signs that some consumers might be looking at a lower price, with many of the nation’s largest insurers now considering rate cuts as they look to lure people back.
For example, Aetna Inc. will cut rates for some older customers by as much as 40 percent, according to people familiar with the matter.
Anthem Inc., one of the biggest insurers, is also lowering rates by as little as 25 percent for some of its younger customers.
While the industry has been hit hard by the financial crisis, consumers are increasingly looking for a cheaper option than paying for health care directly with their paychecks.
The federal government has promised to help keep premiums down, but some insurers have started to cut back on coverage and raise premiums for older customers.
Some consumers are not happy about the price cuts.
Aetnea said on Tuesday it would cut rates on its individual plans by 25 percent next year, and Anthem on Wednesday said it would slash rates on all of its plans by 10 percent.
Anthem did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Insurers have been raising premiums in recent years amid the health care industry’s ongoing crisis, as insurers scramble to stay afloat.
The average cost of a bronze or silver plan for an individual has jumped nearly 50 percent in the past year.
The number of people covered under such plans has declined by about half, to 7.6 million people in 2019 from 11.2 million in 2017.
Insurance companies are also facing more pressure to make money from their customers.
The Trump administration is proposing to cut off subsidies for insurers, which would hurt them financially.
The cuts would also hit those who are buying plans on their own, or buying insurance on a government exchange.
Insurers also have been facing a backlog of claims for coverage that has grown by more than 30 percent since 2020, according.
Insurer executives have been trying to keep their premiums low to entice new customers.
Anthem is offering plans that include a 10 percent cash discount, according, according the company’s website.
A Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey said it will offer a discount of up to 12 percent on its plans starting next year for those buying on a federal exchange.
In a recent survey, Kaiser Permanente said that more than half of those who plan to purchase health insurance on the ACA exchange are expecting to buy plans that have a cash discount of at least 10 percent or more.
A majority of those surveyed said they would prefer a lower premium than their current plan, according Kaiser.
“Premiums are going to be the key to attracting new customers, and the new premium rate that they’re getting right now is going to give them an incentive to stay in their plan,” said Robert Gagnon, a health care analyst at Kaiser.