Nearly 86,000 people who purchase largely unsubsidized health insurance on the Massachusetts Health Connector will face a 7.6 percent premium increase next year, on top of increases totaling at least 31 percent since 2015.
The uptick will make it more difficult for some people to afford health care as consumers face a slew of other rising costs, from inflation to increases in the price of heating and electricity.
“We do hear from people regularly not going to specialists because it’s another cost when their family can’t afford to put food on the table,” said Hannah Frigand, director of education and enrollment services at Health Care For All, a consumer advocacy group. “I remember a family who ended up having to move in with family members because they had rising medical costs and weren’t able to keep up with working and paying rent.”
The premium increases will be felt by people who buy insurance on the connector website or directly through a carrier. Those who make less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level — $40,770 for an individual or $83,250 for a family of four — qualify for ConnectorCare, which offers subsidized health insurance coverage for 140,000 people in the state. For ConnectorCare members, the lowest-cost plans are increasing by $3 per month or less in 2023.
Some residents with lower incomes qualify for MassHealth, which provides health insurance at very little cost to more than 2 million people.
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