For Immediate Release:
September 9, 2022
Health Care For All Raises Concerns Over Increasing Insurance Premiums
BOSTON – Health Care For All is deeply concerned about the rising premiums by health insurers in Massachusetts. Half of the major insurance companies offering individual coverage through the Health Connector will be increasing their premium rates by over nine percent starting next year. These increases will vary for each individual based on their insurance provider and other factors.
“Health Care For All’s free consumer HelpLine hears every day from residents who are unable to afford care due to cost, and rising insurance premiums will only add to their already heavy burden,” said Amy Rosenthal, Health Care For All’s Executive Director. “We cannot just accept these premium increases as a foregone conclusion year after year. Residents should not have to choose between paying rent or accessing necessary care and prescription drugs.”
Health Care For All has been advocating for reasonable steps policymakers can take to better understand and address these rising costs:
Health Care For All has long called for the state’s Division of Insurance to have a stronger, more transparent process for reviewing health insurance premium increases. Health insurance rates continued to rise during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite a dip in how often people used health care services. Residents should not be kept in the dark about why their health insurance premiums continue to rise each year — people deserve to know what is driving these costs. That is why the Baker Administration’s proposed regulations to strengthen this rate review process are so important, and we look forward to them being finalized and implemented this fall.
The Massachusetts legislature also recently passed a pilot program to expand ConnectorCare in the FY23 budget but, unfortunately, it was blocked by Governor Baker. This program would have provided tens of thousands of Massachusetts individuals and families with more affordable and accessible health care. We are hopeful this proposal can make it across the finish line next year.
Health insurance premiums will also continue to rise unless we address the underlying costs in our health care system. Chief among these are the rapidly rising cost of prescription drugs. The pharmaceutical industry and the middle-men PBMs should be required to undergo yearly reviews by the Health Policy Commission, just like other industry groups in the state.
Health Care For All urges providers, insurance companies, and lawmakers to come together to ensure that increases of this magnitude do not become the standard going forward.