HealthBeat

HealthBeat

Poll: Most expect insurance premium increases

With so much uncertainty in the health care world, the majority of people agree on one thing: premiums will go up.

A new Kaiser Health Tracking Poll found that the majority of people – both those with an employer-sponsored health plan and those who purchase their own plans – expect their health plan premiums to go up in 2018.

Among people with employer-sponsored plans, 53 percent expect an increase, with 20 percent saying they expect premiums to “increase a lot.”

Among those who buy their own health plans (either inside or outside of the exchange), 55 percent expect increases but a larger percentage (30 percent) say they’re expecting premiums to “increase a lot.”

Only 5 to 6 percent of people say they expect their premiums to decrease next year.

And while people with both types of insurance expect premium increases, those who purchase their own coverage are more likely to say the increase will be a major financial burden.

Among people purchasing their own plans, 48 percent say the increase will be a burden, with 26 percent calling it a “major burden.” While 42 percent of people with employer-sponsored plans say the increase will be a burden, only 18 percent call the increase a “major burden.”

The health poll also found that those who purchase their own coverage are more likely than those with employer plans to worry about their future ability to pay for coverage.

Nearly 60 percent of people who buy their own plans fear their copays and deductibles will become so high that they won’t be able to afford the health care they need. That’s compared with nearly 40 percent of people with employer-sponsored plans.

And about 55 percent of people purchasing their own coverage worry premiums will go up so much that they won’t be able to afford the plan they have now (only 35 percent with employer plans).

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

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