Miami, FL (August 13, 2014)
State health insurance marketplaces are beginning to report 2015 pricing for Obamacare plans, and on average, consumers are in for a 2 to 23 percent premium hike next year, depending on their health insurance carrier and state of residence. HealthCare.com Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Smedsrud, says that annual price increases are just the beginning of higher health insurance costs, and consumers need to start shopping for new plans.
Those enrolled in a state or federal exchange will likely see the greatest increases, and many of those individuals have their coverage set to renew automatically.
“Automatic renewal of health insurance plans was established to make yearly enrollment easier,” said Smedsrud. “However, consumers should shop around. Every individual who enrolled in an Obamacare plan should pay particular attention to four areas – price, subsidy amount, networks and current plan design.”
In addition to premium increases, consumers will need to address potential subsidy changes. A premium hike may mean consumers are eligible for a larger subsidy – if their income remains static. Despite receiving more tax aid, healthcare consumers could pay more per month if their current health plan’s premium increases substantially. Individuals also need to be mindful if their income will increase in 2015. If there is an increase, their subsidy will need to adjusted, and the financial outcome might not be as favorable.
Another changing factor are physician and hospital networks. Network availability changes each year, and it’s important for individuals to check with the network they currently use to confirm if their preferred doctor will still be part of the same network in 2015.
Adjustments to plan benefit levels are another surprise most consumers will not be expecting. Deductibles, coinsurance and copays could increase within allowable limits on existing plans in 2015, making it harder for those with high deductible plans to hit their minimum limits and pay more out of pocket than they were required in 2014.
“Unlike car insurance that usually maintains the same benefit amounts year after year, Americans need to understand their Obamacare plan will continually change. If consumers keep the same plan for ease of renewal, they might pay substantially more in 2015 or miss out on better coverage for less money,” said Smedsrud. “HealthCare.com encourages consumers to begin shopping now and find out what other plans are on the market. A few hours of online shopping could save more than $1,000. Those that take the time to research options are more likely to enroll in a new health insurance plan during open enrollment that has minimal cost increases, and perhaps better coverage than the plan they have today. And, remember, because of health care reform, no one can be denied coverage because of pre-existing medical condition,” said Smedsrud.
HealthCare.com will be unveiling its new website design and functionality by October 1, 2014.
HealthCare.com is a privately held technology company committed to improving what has historically been a very complicated process of purchasing healthcare. Our mission is to build the leading trusted service to help consumers manage, customize and save money on their healthcare needs. Our highly visible web and mobile applications enable consumers to easily research and compare accurate and relevant information from hundreds of health insurance carriers in a single comprehensive, fast and intuitive interface. Along the way, HealthCare.com provides recommendations using our proprietary algorithms and helps streamline the enrollment process. HealthCare.com’s tools and services are made available free of charge to consumers. For more information please visit www.healthcare.com.
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