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health as it happens

New York Announces Health Insurance Rates Approved For 2022 - WSKG.org

ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) — The New York State Department of Financial Services is announcing the 2022 health insurance premium rates.

That state agency said that it has cut rates requested by many insurers, cutting the rates in the small group market by nearly half.

That market  covers employers with up to 100 employees. Insurance companies had requested rate hikes averaging 14%, and the state cut that to 7.6%, saving small businesses more than $468 million.

In the individual market, health insurance rates will increase by 3.7%. The state says insurance companies had requested an average 11.2% increase, saving consumers more than $138 million.

In terms of health insurance companies with a substantial presence in the Rochester area, Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield had requested a 9.7% rate hike for 2022 in the small group market. The state cut that by 1% to 8.7%.

For the individual market rates, Excellus requested a 6.2% increase. The state cut that by 1.7% and approved a 4.5% increase.

For MVP Health Plan, in the small group market, the state cut a requested 7.9% increase to a 5.7% rate hike for next year.

In the individual market, the state cut MVP’s 16.9% requested increase for next year in half, to an 8.5% increase.

The Dept. of Financial Services says that as in prior years, the continued increase in health care costs is the main driver of premium rates.  DFS says that medical claims decreased significantly in 2020 due to the postponement of elective and non-emergency services, but those claims increased significantly in 2021 as New Yorkers were catching up on medical appointments and postponed services.

Drug costs account for the largest share of medical expenses, (38.7%)  followed by inpatient hospital costs, (17.3%) primary care,  (8.1%) outpatient hospital costs (7.9%)  and radiology (5.7%).