Individual Health Plan Premiums Increased Slightly

Posted on: December 6th, 2012 by BlogAdmin No Comments

Average Individual Health Plan premiumseHealthinsurance recently released their report entitled “The Costs and Benefits of Individual and Family Health Insurance Plans”. One of the elements that was analyzed in the report was the comparison of average health insurance premiums paid by customers year-over-year (2012 v. 2011) on a state level. 47 states and District of Columbia were included in the analysis. Hawaii, Rhode Island and Maine were excluded from the analysis due to the small number of policies in force in those states.

Some of the findings on a state level (for individual policy holders without other covered dependents) were as follows:

  • Rate differences from 2011 ranged from an avg increase of 15.1% in Montana to an avg decrease of 7.1% in New York state.
  • Avg monthly premiums decreased in seven states, however in six of the seven cases this seems to be driven by a corresponding increase in the avg. deductible level of the underlying health plan selected by customers. – The exception being New York where avg premiums dec. by 7.1% and avg. ded. was also lower (6.2%).
  • The highest avg. premiums for individuals exist in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Washington & Alaska.   MA, NY, NJ have avg rates above $300/mo to cover a single applicant.  Note: four of these five states currently operate within an environment of “Guaranteed Issue” or an “Insurance Mandate
  • The lowest avg premiums can be found in ND, IA, AL, SD & MO all with avg rates at $140/mo or less to cover a single applicant
  • The Majority of states analyzed (nine) had avg premiums between $150 – $200 for individual applicants
In general, individual health plan premiums increased modestly across the book of business — which included nearly 4400,000 policies in their analysis.  Monthly premiums rose 3.8% overall compared to 9.6% in the previous years report. However, this normalization seems to be driven at least somewhat due to the more to HSA eligible plans with higher deductibles.
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