Health Insurance Rates Increasing 7.5%

Look out, Americans.  According to a Kaiser Health News report, “Health Care Costs (are) Expected To Increase 7.5% In 2013.”  I don’t think anyone is prepared for that, but 7.5% is actually considered good compared to past increases.  The rates of inflation and economic growth are three times less than that, not to mention many Americans are out of work or not getting raises at their current jobs.  The best way to protect yourself against rising health insurance rates is to compare health insurance companies and find yourself the best rates you can get.

Reuters says that while the cost of your health care services will likely increase by 7.5%, the largest employer-sponsored health plans will see an increase closer to 5.5%.  Company wellness programs and workers paying more towards insurance will keep those plan costs increasing less.  It is becoming increasingly popular for more health insurance costs to be paid by workers, even with employer-sponsored plans.

Bloomberg points out that the 7.5% increase actually makes it the fourth year in a row that increases are under 8%.  I guess that is a good thing.  They point out that the rate is slowing, which is in part due to cheaper health clinics, less expensive drugs and supplies, and the effect of hospitals publishing their costs to keep health insurance rates down.  If you take changes in benefits into account, the overall rate is actually increasing more like 5.5%.  This is because deductibles and co-payments are higher, so Americans are still paying more out of their own pockets.

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