Why You May Pay More For Health Insurance In 2019

Your health insurance costs may increase by as much as 30 percent this year, according to industry experts. Even if your employer pays a significant portion of this expense, you may also be required to pay more because of several factors. 

Medical Advances

The discovery of new medications, treatment and procedures increases the cost of your health insurance. The good news is that conditions such as diabetes, mental illness and substance abuse can now be treated.

Specialty Medications

Specialty prescription medications can treat a variety of illnesses. These drugs are expensive to manufacture, though, and insurance companies pass a portion of their costs onto you via higher premiums.

Aging Population

Older Americans face a greater risk of developing chronic health concerns. By 2030, one in five Americans will be over 65, leading to an increase in the demand for and price of health care.

Health Care Worker Shortage

A shortage of employees in almost every area of health care means you pay more for insurance. That’s because facilities raise prices as they try to offset the costs associated with hiring additional employees, providing job training and preventing employee burnout.

Medical Organization Charges

Patients typically pay twice as much to see physicians who work in a hospital, health system or medical group as opposed to physicians who work in a private practice. Procedures performed in a hospital also cost more than procedures that are done in a doctor’s office. Your insurance costs reflect these charges.

Provider Mergers

Mergers between hospitals and health care systems can improve the quality of care you receive. The resulting competition can also cause prices to increase, though, as mega providers set their own prices.

Administrative Costs

Health care costs are determined in part by physician, testing, medication, and other charges. Administrative costs also affect insurance premiums, though, because it takes time to manage billing, policies, forms, and collections.

Demand for Convenience

Consumers want to access their doctor, prescriptions and other health care services online. The demand for telemedicine reduces health care costs but also drives up insurance premiums.

Unhealthy Lifestyle Choices

As much as 70 percent of total health care spending is allocated to the treatment of obesity, lung disease and hypertension, conditions that are all related to lifestyle. Wellness programs can equip employees to improve their overall health, but insurance costs still rise along with treatment costs.

Benefit Misunderstandings

The terminology, benefits and provisions of your health insurance plan are complicated. It’s easy to misunderstand these details, causing you to choose more costly procedures and boost premium costs.

These factors contribute to the increase in your insurance costs this year. You can manage costs, though, when you discuss your needs and budget with your insurance agent.
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