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Health decision is not a one and done, analysts warn

Health decision is not a one and done, analysts warn

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

People who bought health insurance through online marketplaces are going to want to shop for a better deal in 2016 and avoid being hit by skyrocketing premium prices.

Experts say that advice is even more important for the millions of Americans who receive government subsidies through that offset the cost of coverage.

In Western Pennsylvania, Highmark Inc. has proposed raising premiums by as much as 39 percent. But the level of subsidy is likely to increase by only about 10 percent, meaning people with Highmark plans are going to pay a lot more each month if they let their enrollment automatically renew later this year.

“It’s very disheartening to see a proposed rate increase of nearly 40 percent,” said Jason Snyder, executive director of the Consumer Health Coalition, a North Side nonprofit that helps people enroll in Affordable Care Act insurance coverage.

“But the beauty of the marketplace is there is choice,” he said.

“I would strongly urge anyone who has bought a Highmark plan or any other plan on the marketplace to do their homework.”

Experts said too many people let their coverage automatically renew for 2015 instead of comparing their options. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which runs, last week said nearly half of people who had coverage in 2014 let their plans renew for 2015 without shopping. Open enrollment for 2016 begins Nov. 1.

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