Healthcare premiums expected to rise for residents in Massachusetts

Health

Massachusetts residents may have to start paying more for their affordable health insurance plans. 

The Massachusetts Health Connector Board on Thursday approved a 4.7 percent increase in premiums for residents who get health or dental insurance through the state’s Health Connector. 

In the annual report from the Center for Health Information and Analysis, the state’s health care system spent an additional $1.3 billion in total health care expenditures from 2016 to 2017.

In response, ConnectorCare members had to pay to about $17 more per month, per individual. 

“I’ve been fortunate, that my wife and I are covered together so you know that helps, so we don’t have two separate premiums, but yes they have started to rise and we’ve noticed it,” said Erik Simon of Boston.

Last year the federal government halted its cost-sharing reduction subsidy to states, and in response, the Connector raised rates for 2018 far more than they originally anticipated. 

Health Connector Executive Director Louis Gutierrez said he believes next year’s premium increases should be more manageable.

The report released this year comes after Massachusetts lawmakers failed to reach a deal on sweeping healthcare legislation.

With premium rates on the rise, the number of people without healthcare in Massachusetts also went up from 2.5 percent in 2016 to 2.8 percent 2017. 

If you don’t have health insurance, you can expect to receive a reminder next year that the state still  requires residents to have health insurance. 

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