How to save more money on health insurance, find better coverage and access more affordable options
Insurance companies have been warning for years that the American health care system is about to fall apart, and the only way to keep it running is to make insurance more expensive for everyone.
The American Cancer Society’s new report, titled “How to Save More Money on Health Insurance,” is the latest example of the industry’s warnings.
The report warns that Americans have been spending way too much on health care, with costs climbing faster than incomes for everyone except the wealthiest.
More than 40 percent of Americans spend more on health coverage than they earn, according to the report.
“We’ve seen over the last decade a remarkable rise in health care spending that has not been matched by a corresponding rise in average incomes, which has been especially striking for those at the very bottom of the income distribution,” said Robert Moffitt, president of the American Cancer Societies National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.
In 2016, the average family with an income of $50,000 paid $1,749 in premiums for their insurance, according the Institute for Policy Studies.
That is up nearly 50 percent from 2015.
The number of people enrolled in health insurance rose by more than 100,000 people between 2014 and 2016, according a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis.
Premiums for people with pre-existing conditions have also risen in recent years, according as much as 15 percent, according data from the American College of Physicians.
For example, the median family premium has increased more than $2,000 since 2009, when the last year of the Affordable Care Act, according Kaiser.
Some states have already begun raising premiums, and others are on track to increase their premiums even more, according HealthCare.gov, the federal marketplace for health insurance.
As a result, insurers will need to offer more coverage to keep the system afloat, Moffitt said.
The group’s study found that premiums for people earning $50 to $60,000 will jump by more $1 for every $1 they pay in premiums.
To keep premiums low for consumers, Moffit said it is crucial that insurance companies include policies that include affordable co-pays and deductibles.
Insurers must offer a comprehensive coverage that includes coverage for mental health, physical health, vision and dental coverage, as well as pre-surgical care, he said.
That will mean lower out-of-pocket expenses for consumers.
But many of the policies in the report, like a plan from Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, are only offered in California.
Anthem offers health insurance to people who live in the state.
A California insurer, Cigna, is offering insurance for all residents, but residents of California cannot purchase it there.