Survey Finds Insurance Premiums Soaring for Individual Policyholders

During the national debate about whether to overhaul the health insurance market, people who were buying coverage on their own were experiencing sharp increases in the cost of their policies, according to a survey released by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit health policy research group, in June 2010.

Among those surveyed, individuals reported that they were faced with premium increases averaging 20 percent when they last sought to renew their coverage, reported the Kaiser Family Foundation, which conducted the survey in March and early April.

As reported by the American Medical Association, the Kaiser Family Foundation report, “Survey of People Who Purchase Their Own Insurance,” issued June 21, found that 77% of those who buy individual policies were told that their insurance premiums would increase by a proposed average of 20%.  The remaining 23% were mostly individuals who had been with their plans one year or less.

Sixty-one percent of individuals surveyed stayed with their plans and paid an average 18% more than they had previously. Another 16% switched to cheaper plans, paying an average of 3% less — but 49% of those who switched ended up with fewer benefits. The survey said the average individual rate was $3,606 per year, while the average family rate was $7,102. (more…)

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