NYDFS Rejects Double Digit Health Premium Increases
The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) rejected double digit health insurance premium requests from New York health insurers last month in an effort to curb health care costs for small business owners.
According to the DFS, health insurers on average, requested a 13.9 percent rate increase for 2015 in the small group marketplace but The DFS cut the average increase request more than in half to 6.7 percent. Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services said, “We closely scrutinized the proposed rate increases insurers requested and reduced them significantly where appropriate. While we have made substantial progress in reforming our health care market and holding down costs, there is much more work ahead. We will continue to engage with consumer groups, insurers, providers, and other stakeholders as we move forward with that effort.”
The cost of group health insurance has increased steadily over the last 10 years and many small business owners have been struggling to keep up with the rising costs. Group health insurance premiums have almost doubled between 2009 and 2013.
With the projected double digit increases looming over small businesses for 2015, business owners have been contemplating whether it still makes sense to offer group health insurance to their employees. It is estimated that 60% of small businesses will exit the group health marketplace by 2018 due to increasing costs.
The news of reduced rate increases comes as welcomed relief to many small business owners but still after 11 years of continual increases, employers and employees are struggling to keep up.
You can download the 2015 Health Insurer Rate Summaries here: 2015 Approved Rate Increases.