Consumers and businesses across Massachusetts will have to pay more for Health care in 2016, as insurance rates rise at a faster clip and some premiums soar by double digit rates.
At Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the state’s biggest commercial insurer, premiums will rise an average of 5 percent this year. Rates are set to increase between 3 and 7 percent at Tufts Health Plan, 6 to 12 percent at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and 9.5 percent on average at Fallon Health.
The jumps in premiums come as Insurers pass on the costs of rising drug prices, insurers and analysts said, and grapple with the cost of expanding coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Most of the state’s major health insurers are sharply raising premiums for individuals, small firms, and big businesses, according to a Globe review of figures provided by the insurers and the state Division of Insurance.
For many, the upward trend is troubling.
“People cannot sustain the amount of money they’re paying for health care, ” said Joshua Archambault, senior fellow at the Pioneer Institute, a right-leaning Boston think tank. “At some point, people really can’t afford it.”
The Division of Insurance will hold a two-day public Hearing on the issue. Insurers will be called to discuss their rates at the first-of-its-kind hearing on Jan. 11, and members of the public can comment on Jan. 12.
“In the interest of transparency, we’re holding these [hearings] so insurers can explain the rates they say they need,” said Chris Goetcheus, a spokesman for the division.
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