Expect Higher Health Insurance Premiums, but Not a Lot Higher – The New York Times

Expect Higher Health Insurance Premiums, but Not a Lot Higher - The New York Times

Workers are likely to see more options for mental health care — but they may have to wait for appointments. Employers reported growing demand for mental health services, Kaiser found, and more than a quarter of large employers said they had added mental health providers to their networks, whether for treatment in person or online. Even so, about 30 percent said their networks lacked enough mental health professionals to give workers timely access to care.

For people who don’t have insurance through a job and don’t qualify for government programs like Medicare or Medicaid, open enrollment on HealthCare.gov, the federal health insurance marketplace, began Tuesday. Open enrollment is also underway, or soon will be, in the 17 states (plus the District of Columbia) that run their own exchanges.

The good news is that expanded financial help with premiums, first made available as part of the federal government’s pandemic relief program, was extended through 2025 by Congress as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. As a result, the “vast majority” of people buying insurance on the Affordable Care Act marketplace get subsidies that lower their premiums, a separate Kaiser report found.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency that oversees HealthCare.gov., said four out of five customers could find plans for $10 per month or less, after tax credits.

Plus, the “family glitch” loophole, which kept some members of lower-wage workers’ families from qualifying for financial help with marketplace premiums, has been fixed for 2023.

People who don’t qualify for marketplace subsidies may see premiums increase next year by an average of 4 percent for a benchmark plan, a change from recent year-over-year declines. But because of the extension of more generous subsidies, people who haven’t qualified for financial help before may be eligible now, so they should shop online to see if it makes sense to change plans.

“Folks should be encouraged to come back and see what they qualify for,” said Katie Keith, director of the health policy and the law initiative at Georgetown University Law Center.

This content was originally published here.

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