Pent-up Health Care Demand Could Increase Premiums

In a new HealthPocket survey, 42% of respondents say they would see the doctor more often or get a medical procedure that they have been putting off if they had better health insurance. Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) broadens health insurance coverage and benefits, health insurance premiums could rise in 2015 to cover increased medical service use starting in 2014.

Beginning in 2014, health insurance plans will have to meet minimum coverage standards called “Essential Health Benefits.” Today’s individual health plans provide only 76% of the ACA’s Essential Health Benefits. HealthPocket estimates a two-year period for consumers to exhaust the pent-up demand for healthcare, so the  of the ACA’s effect on premiums won’t be evident until 2016.

Bruce Telkamp, CEO of HealthPocket said, “These results suggest that many consumers will become more active in their use of healthcare starting next January when many consumers have first-time coverage or simply better health insurance under Obamacare. On the positive side, this should lead to improved health and cost savings in the long term through preventive care that offsets the need for more expensive acute care. On the other hand, we do expect to see some increases in premiums in the short term, to mitigate the use of a larger volume of doctor services, which are already in short supply.” For more information, visit www.HealthPocket.com.

Last Updated 12/02/2020

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