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While no one can seem to agree on how to stop the price of healthcare from increasing, most of us can acknowledge that it’s a problem. As debates continue, you might be wondering: how high are health insurance costs rising? Below, we explore some of the costs, causes, and concerns about out-of-pocket health expenses before offering some suggestions for dealing with them.

Healthcare Costs Continue to Rise

The average monthly premium for an Affordable Care Act benchmark health plan in 2014 was $273. In 2021, the average is $475. That’s an increase of over 67% in seven years.1 Out-of-pocket limits for ACA plans in 2014 were $6,350 for an individual and $12,700 for a family. In 2021, those limits are $8,550 and $17,100 respectively — an increase of over 34%.2,3

For employer-sponsored plans, the annual cost of health care for a family in 2020 was $21,342 (including both employer and employee contributions), which is an increase of over $3,700 (or 22%) in just five years. Over the past ten years, deductibles for single coverage employer plans have risen by 79%, and one in four plans has a deductible over $2,000.4

What Keeps Health Insurance Costs Rising?

Factors that contribute to healthcare’s increasing prices include: 
  1. The administrative costs of healthcare providers, which makes up over 34% of total healthcare spending,5 and 
  2. Preventable chronic health conditions that manifest themselves into expensive diseases such as diabetes and cancer.6

Growing employer contributions are another reason it may feel like health insurance costs are rising. Workers with employee-sponsored healthcare coverage are spending more of their hard-earned dollars on health insurance. In the last decade, workers’ monthly contributions to employer-provided health insurance for family coverage increased by over $1,500.4

Possible Remedies for High Individual & Employer Plan Costs

If you receive employer-sponsored healthcare, it’s important to weigh your options. Find out the types of plans offered and any potential benefits available, such as Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions. You can also look into supplemental insurance coverage, which will help cover your out-of-pocket costs in the event of an accident or hospitalization.

The best solution for people with individual or family health plans dealing with rising health insurance costs is to do some homework.
  1. Take inventory on what your typical healthcare needs and spending look like. 
  2. Get educated on the different plans and cost-shares (copays, coinsurance, and deductibles) that accommodate them. 
  3. Find out if you are eligible for tax subsidies that can significantly lower the cost of premiums. 
  4. Make a careful decision to match your needs to a plan that works best for you.
An easy way for people searching for individual and family plans to quickly complete these steps is to shop with HealthMarkets and find your FitScore™, which allows you to easily compare plans based your specific needs.

HealthMarkets Can Help 

If you are still feeling lost, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Even with health insurance costs constantly changing, we can help you weigh your options, find benefits that suit your individual needs, and check for your available tax subsidies. We provide help at no charge and will help you find plans for the same price you’d pay directly from the insurer. Get started online now.


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References:
1.Kaiser Family Foundation. 2020. Retrieved from https://www.kff.org/health-reform/state-indicator/marketplace-average-benchmark-premiums/
2.SHRM. February 15, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/benefits/pages/hhs-proposes-2020-oop-maximums.aspx
3.SHRM. May 20, 2020. Retrieved from https://shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/benefits/pages/hhs-2021-health-plan-parameters-raise-out-of-pocket-maximums.aspx
4.Kaiser Family Foundation. October 08, 2020. Retrieved from https://www.kff.org/report-section/ehbs-2020-summary-of-findings/
5.American College of Physicians.  January 21, 2020. Retrieved from https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M19-2818
6.National Center for Biotechnology Information. February 19, 2020. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7077778/

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