Health Insurance Costs Rising in New Hampshire

Health premiums are increasing dramatically in New Hampshire and according to Republicans in the State Senate during the debate over SB 148 the cause of the increase in premiums is the federal health care reform bill.  Are we surprised?

“The rate of increase is phenomenal,” said Jean Pierre La Tourette, owner of Flora Ventures, a florist with 11 employees in Newmarket, N.H., near Portsmouth. When he was recently notified that the monthly premium for single employees at his firm was going up by $229, or 40 percent, to $789, Mr. La Tourette said, he felt “a combination of anger and frustration.”

Republicans are seizing on the trend as evidence that the new law includes expensive features that are driving up premiums. But the insurance industry says premiums are rising primarily because of the underlying cost of care and a growing demand for it.

via Health Insurance Puzzle – Rising Premiums, Shrinking Coverage – NYTimes.com.

What is causing these sharp increases in health insurance costs?

Some insurance industry lobbyists say the new federal health care law is driving up premiums. But Vincent Capozzi, senior vice president for sales and customer service at Harvard Pilgrim, said that only one percentage point of the increases here was attributable to the federal law, mainly its requirement for free coverage of preventive services.

According to Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield the main drivers of costs are “an increase in medical trends, especially the utilization of services and the underlying cost of health care, for all small-group customers.”

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This entry was posted in Affordable Care Act (ACA), Health Care Reform, Republicans and Health Care and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Health Insurance Costs Rising in New Hampshire

  1. A Yellow Dog Democrat says:

    Not sure what Obama was thinking when he got this health care proposal through. If it is hammering people this way, of course it’s going to give those greedy Republicans and insurance companies an excuse for getting rid of the entire program.

  2. Thanks for the comment!

    I think it is clear that the new law is not responsible for the steep increases. Insurance premiums have been increasing at a rate greater than inflation for years.

    Take a look at the chart at http://www.kff.org/insurance/upload/7692.pdf This information has been collected by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Between 2003 and 2007 annual premiums increased in the range of 13.9% to 6.1%

    Could the Democrats have passed the reform bill without the requirement that everyone purchase health insurance? Probably not. The cost of extending coverage to the uninsured would have increased significantly because of healthy, younger individuals declining to participate. And Blue Dog Dems would have voted against the bill.

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