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States With Highest Monthly Premiums

10 States With the HIGHEST Health Insurance Premiums for Individual Health Plans

According to a recent eHealthinsurance Study released in November of 2012.  The following states experienced the highest monthly premiums for Individual and Family Health Insurance Plans.  eHealthinsurance analyzed 395,000 Individual & Family Health Plans purchased through their site that were on their books as of February 2012. Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Maine were excluded from the analysis due to small sample size. 

The National average for monthly health insurance premium for insuring a single individual was $190/mo and ranged from $126/mo. in Iowa to $385/mo in Massachusetts.  For Family health plans the average monthly premium was $412/mo, ranging from $269/mo in Iowa to $965/mo in Massachusetts.

One of the primary drivrs of

State Mo. Premium (Ind) % Above Nat'l Avg Mo. Premium (Family) % Above Nat'l Avg
MA $385 103% $965 134%
NY $355 87% $792 92%
NJ $315 66% $832 102%
AK $241 27% $568 38%
WA $230 21% $519 26%
NH $223 17% $626 52%
CT $207 9% $485 18%
MT $206 8% $411 0%
WV $199 5% $424 3%
VT $197 4% $436 6%
Nat'l Avg $190   $412  

 

Primary Drivers

One of the primary drivers of health insurance premiums among individual and family plans are state mandated benefits and other regulations.  Some states mandate coverage for specific conditions be covered, while other states do not.  For example, The two states with the lowest monthly premiums are Iowa and Alabama, who have 19 and 28 mandated health benefits respectively. While some of the more expensive states such as New York have over 60 mandated benefits.

Other regulations such as "Guaranteed Issue" which makes it unlawful for an insurer to decline an applicant for pre-existing conditions,  drives up the average premiums because the unhealthy segment of the population is very expensive to insure and their rates must reflect this.

Three States Stand Out

Massachusetts, New York & New Jersey stand out in terms of having excessively high monthly premiums.   All three states have monthly premiums at least 90% above the national average for family health insurance plans.  It is interesting to note, that all three of these states currently operate in an environment of either guaranteed issue, or in the case of Massachusetts an insurance mandate similar to what will be implemented nationally beginning in January of 2014.

Sources: eHealthinsurance Report 11/2012, CAHI Health Insurance Mandates in The States 2011

 

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