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New York health insurance premiums will grow in 2020

ALBANY — Health insurance premiums will rise approximately 6.8 percent next year for individuals and 7.9 percent for employers who purchase coverage on New York’s state-run health exchange.

The rate increases were approved by the state Department of Financial Services, which announced Friday it had “saved” consumers more than $50 million and small businesses more than $313 million by lowering the amount insurers were initially seeking to charge. The rates insurers had requested would have raised premiums 9.2 percent for individuals and 12.2 percent for employers.

Insurers say the rate hikes are primarily driven by rising drug and hospital costs, as well as the reinstatement next year of a federal health insurance tax.

“The largest component of health insurance premiums is the cost of care and the rates health plans had submitted were reflective of those increases,” said Eric Linzer, president and CEO of the New York Health Plan Association.

Among companies doing business in the Capital Region, HealthNow New York will be imposing the largest average rate hike on the individual market at 8.6 percent. The company, which offers plans in the region through its subsidiary BlueShield of Northeastern New York, had initially proposed a 10 percent hike.

The company will raise …read more

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