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Health insurance costs may increase slightly next year

An analysis studied projected increases for policies under the Affordable Care Act

Health care costs concept
Photo (c) Rapeepong Puttakumwong - Getty Images
As consumers are well aware, the price of everything has been going up significantly. But a new survey suggests that the cost of health insurance might be an exception.

A ValuePenguin analysis of health plans available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) found that Americans will spend an average of $541 per month, or $6,492 for the year, on health insurance in 2022. That’s just 0.67% more than this year’s average premium.

However, there may be fairly significant variations depending on the state and the type of coverage the plan provides.

“For states with larger rate increases, insurers cite an overall jump in health care costs, including prescription drug prices, as drivers," said Robin Townsend, a health insurance specialist at ValuePenguin. "Other factors mentioned by insurers include the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with an increase in vaccine administration and the impact of the Delta variant prompting higher rates in 2022."

Five states will pay significantly more

According to the analysis, West Virginia, South Dakota, Wyoming, Vermont, and Louisiana residents will pay the highest health insurance premiums next year. Premiums in those states will range anywhere from 35% to 54% above the national average.

At the same time, people in Georgia, New Hampshire, Maryland, Minnesota, and Colorado will enjoy the lowest health insurance premiums in 2022. Premiums for these states’ residents will range from 25% to 43% below the national average.

South Dakota, West Virginia, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas will experience the biggest jump in health insurance costs next year. ACA plans in those states will rise anywhere from 13% to 23%.

Three states may see lower premiums

Three states -- Georgia, South Carolina, and Nebraska -- will see health insurance costs actually go down next year. Plans will be anywhere from 11% to 41% cheaper next year.

Among the different plans, the survey found that the Platinum tier of health insurance plans will produce the biggest savings in 2022; those costs are expected to fall by a little over 4%. Bronze tier plans are projected to increase in cost by as much as 3%.

The ValuePenguin analysts looked at the thousands of plans available from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). However, private employer-sponsored plans were not included in the analysis. Neither was Medicare for those 65 and older. When the CMS makes the premium adjustment for 2022, it will be deducted from recipients’ Social Security payments, which are increasing next year by 5.9%.

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