State regulators have approved large increases in health insurance rates for 2022, which would reflect the recent pent-up demand for medical procedures and services that people are delaying due to previous outbreaks of COVID-19.
The increases approved by the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services will take effect Jan. 1 and will average 7.1% for small group plans – businesses and organizations with 50 employees or less – and 4.7% for individual market insurance policies purchased through Healthcare. .gov website. The new tariffs will impact around 742,000 people.
The rate hikes are much larger than what regulators approved last year as insurers saw fewer claims during the pandemic as people delayed elective procedures and made fewer doctor visits. These previous increases, 1.4% for small groups and 1.1% for individual policies, were unusually small by historical standards.
Mike Embry, president of Southfield-based insurance agency Comprehensive Benefits, said his clients in small groups with PPO plans typically see an increase of 6% to 7% for 2022 and those with HMO plans increase by 8. % to 11%.
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âLast year, because of COVID, the rates were relatively stable,â Embry said. “I think a lot of people were postponing their doctor’s visit, postponing procedures.”
The good news is that many dental and vision plans have prices that remain stable or even decline over the next year, Embry said. He attributes this circumstance to the fact that people delay returning to the dentist or optometrist longer than they did to the doctor.
âOn the dental and vision side of things, we’ve seen rate reductions for the past two years,â he said.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the largest player in the employer-sponsored insurance market, increases rates 7.9% in 2022 for its small group plans and 6.9% for its plans small groups Blue Care Network.
A representative from Blue Cross previously noted that between 2015 and 2021, its rates for small groups saw modest average annual increases of 1.2%.
The open enrollment period for individual policies on the Healthcare.gov website begins on November 1 and ends on January 15, although people must enroll by December 15 for coverage to begin on January 1. Michiganders can choose individual plans from nine different insurance companies. , one less company than last year due to the dropout of Total Health Care USA.
The rate increases on individual policies will not have a direct impact on everyone who purchases a plan from Healthcare.gov, as the Affordable Care Act grants for those eligible for income also increase as the income increases. sticker prices on fonts go up.
President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 bailout, enacted in March, temporarily extended eligibility for these grants to high-income people for 2021 and 2022, and also reduced premiums for those already eligible.
A Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that Michigan this year has the third cheapest premium “benchmark plan” for individual policies, an average of $ 347 per month for the second cheapest money plan for. a 40 year old man. The average for the United States was $ 452.