Health Insurance Premiums Expected to Rise

Inflation has been on the rise for some time now, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be slowing down anytime soon. The rising costs of gas and groceries have been tough on many Americans, and as if that wasn’t enough, health insurance premiums are now expected to increase, as well. The reasons for the increase include the effects of the pandemic, shrinking tax credits, prices set by drug manufacturers, and other health care costs. And unless Congress extends the expanded subsidies for Marketplace coverage, premiums could increase by 50% for some. Don’t panic yet, though:  there are ways that you can save.

Tax Credits Disappearing

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The American Rescue Plan Act was approved for only 2 years, which means tax credits are coming to an end next year. 

The American Rescue Plan Act, which was signed into law in March 2021, allowed Americans earning any amount of money to enjoy tax credits or premium subsidies, and also capped the amount that anyone pays for premiums at 8.5% of their income. Unfortunately, though, Congress put a two-year limit on these provisions, and at the end of this time, premiums are set to rise by more than 50% on average for people getting health coverage through a Marketplace plan.

“The default is that the expanded subsidies will expire at the end of this year,” said Cynthia Cox, a vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation and director of its Affordable Care Act program. “On average, premiums would go up more than 50%, but for some, it will be more.”

And if Congress does not extend the expanded tax credits, only people with household incomes of 100% to 400% of the federal poverty level will qualify for subsidies.

Increases in Drug Prices

What’s making the problem worse is that the prices of new drugs in the U.S. have climbed for more than a decade. According to a research letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the launch prices of new brand-name drugs increased by nearly 11% every year from 2008 through 2021.

Eric Linzer, President and CEO of the NY Health Plan Association, says state legislatures are also contributing to higher premium costs, specifically with bills that prohibit any kind of change in health plan formularies (or the list of prescription drugs covered by insurance plans). For example, Bill S.4111/A.4668 would prohibit health insurance plans from making mid-year pharmacy formulary changes, resulting in higher health insurance premiums and exacerbating the increasing cost of drugs. graph going upwards with a green arrow

In addition, several states have passed legislation that prohibits the use of copay accumulator adjustment programs (CAAP), or accumulator adjustment programs. These programs seek to reverse the impact of manufacturer cost-sharing assistance for prescription drugs by not counting the manufacturer assistance amount towards a patient’s deductible and out-of-pocket maximums. If the co-pay assistance is not counted against the patient’s deductibles and coinsurance amounts, it will drive up the patient’s health care costs overall.

“If we’re going to get those costs under control and make premiums more affordable for individuals and employers it’s important that policymakers look at what the underlying costs are. 82% or more of the premium dollar goes to pay for doctors visits, hospital stays, prescription drug costs,” said Linzer.

Find Affordable Health Insurance

Even though health insurance costs are rising, it doesn’t mean you can’t find an affordable plan that provides the coverage you need. And remember, it’s always better to get a plan before an accident happens, or a chronic condition develops or worsens.

EZ provides you with easy, instant, accurate quotes with no strings attached. Your own personal advisor will provide you with instant quotes and a comparison of all the other top plans available. Not only will you save time and money, but you also won’t have to pay us a cent for our services. We have the technology and network to cut hours of time spent comparing plans down to seconds. When you visit our site, you’ll leave with complete details and comparisons from dozens of plans available to you. These come from our team of experts, who filter all insurance plans to find the most suitable to your health needs and budget. 

Don’t waste any more time missing out on savings! To get your instant quotes, enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak to an agent, call 888-350-1890.

Find Out Which Premium Tax Credits You Qualify For This Open Enrollment Period

In case you haven’t heard, earlier this year, President Biden passed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP), which extended health insurance premium tax credits to more Americans. What this means is that you can now qualify for premium tax credits that you probably couldn’t have before. So, how much can you save exactly? Well, to find out how much you and your family can save on health insurance premiums, speak with a licensed EZ agent. Our agents will make sure to find the most savings for you – you could save anywhere from $50-$1000 a month!

What Is The Premium Tax Credit?

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Premium tax credits help you pay for a portion of your monthly insurance premiums, so you can save more money.

In 2014, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) established the premium tax credit so that individuals or families with low or moderate incomes could afford health insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace. Premium tax credits help you pay for a portion of your monthly insurance premiums; you can choose to have payments of the premium tax credit go directly to insurers to pay a share of your monthly insurance premiums, or wait until you file taxes to claim them. 

Do You Qualify?

Since the passage of Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act, premium tax credits are now available to individuals or families with incomes between the federal poverty line and 400% of the federal poverty line. It also requires that Americans pay no more than 8.5% of their income on health insurance premiums, and provides a larger tax credit to people who already receive financial assistance. To qualify:

  • You must prove you do not have access to an affordable employer-sponsored plan.
  • You must prove you are not eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, or TRICARE.
  • You cannot be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer.
  • You must file a joint federal income tax return if you are married; you cannot file a married filing separately tax return (unless you’re a victim of domestic abuse or spousal abandonment).
  • You must have a household income that falls within a certain amount.

It is important to note that you will not be eligible for the premium tax credit if you buy a plan outside of the Marketplace or exchange.

How Much Will You Save With An EZ Agent?

Our agents are highly trained and work with the top-rated insurance companies in the nation, making it easier for them to compare plans and find ways to save you the most money. Between the premium tax credits and your agent’s comparison shopping, you can expect to see a drop in premiums of $50 a month or more! With the new law:fifty dollar bill in a jean pocket.

  • An individual making $19,000 or less will not have to pay a monthly premium for health insurance. 
  • Couples who earn more than $70,000 together will save $1,000 per month on their health insurance monthly premiums. 
  • A family of 4 with an income of $90,000 will pay about $200 less in health insurance premiums. 

If you buy a health insurance plan during the Open Enrollment Period, or switch plans, you will be able to receive the tax credits. So, what better time than now to find an affordable plan and save money? Comparing plans is the best way to find an affordable plan that provides the right level of coverage for you, but before you start doing the work of comparing on your own, come to EZ. We will make the process quicker and easier by comparing available plans in your area in minutes. Our licensed agents work with all the top-rated insurance companies in the nation and can go over your budget and needs, and find the best plan for you and your family. We compare plans and offer guidance at no cost to you. To get free quotes, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak directly with an agent, call 888-350-1890.