The Future of Health Insurance: Trends and Innovations to Watch

The Future of Health Insurance: Trends and Innovations to Watch
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Introduction

Health insurance is a booming industry, and it’s projected to continue growing in the coming years. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 18 million Americans are turning 65 each year—and as we age, we’re more likely to get sick or injured and require medical care. This makes health insurance an increasingly important topic for consumers who may be looking for ways to lower their monthly premiums or cover other expenses related to their health care needs.

Consistently increasing premiums.

You may have noticed that your health insurance premiums are going up. You’re not alone; this has been happening for years. And it’s not just your company’s plan that’s increasing, but also those offered by your employer and others in the industry.

The reason? Costs are rising across the board–for example, hospital costs increased 5% for 2018 compared with 2017–and insurers are under pressure from investors to keep profits up so they can reward shareholders with dividends or stock buybacks (which boost share prices).

Declining insurance coverage.

You may have noticed that health insurance coverage is declining for many people. In fact, the number of people without insurance has been increasing since 2014 and shows no sign of slowing down.

What’s behind this trend? The main reason is cost: premiums are too high or they’re not worth it compared to other expenses (like rent).

For example, if you earn $30,000 per year and your monthly premium is $300 with no deductible or co-payments, then you’ll pay about 10% of your income just for health care–and that doesn’t even include any additional out-of-pocket costs like prescriptions or procedures!

An aging population.

As the population ages, the number of people with chronic conditions is also rising. The rate of hospitalization among adults 65 and older increased by more than 50 percent between 1999 and 2010, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics. And these patients are more likely than younger ones to be on multiple medications–some of which may interact negatively with each other or cause side effects that require additional medication management.

A shift to high-deductible plans and HSAs.

High-deductible plans have become increasingly popular in recent years, and they’re likely to continue gaining steam. These plans require you to pay more out of pocket before your insurance kicks in. The upside is that you’ll end up paying less each month for health insurance than with other options.

High-deductible health savings accounts (HSAs) are another option for consumers who want to save money on their healthcare costs without giving up coverage entirely or going without insurance altogether. To put it simply: You make deposits into an HSA account during the year; then when you need medical care, you can withdraw funds from this account tax-free (and penalty free). This type of plan only works well for people who don’t anticipate needing many doctor visits or other services over time–but if that sounds like your situation and budgeting is something that interests you, this may be worth looking into further!

A focus on wellness incentives, including tiered networks that offer better access for members who are more engaged with their health plan.

“These programs have been around for decades,” says Dr. Alan Cohen, chief medical officer at Blue Shield of California. “But now we’re seeing companies start to tie them into their products in ways that weren’t possible before.”

Fear of job loss or reduced hours.

Many companies are reducing the hours of their part-time employees so they don’t have to provide them with health insurance. This is especially true for people who work 30 hours a week or less, which is considered full time under Obamacare but not by many employers. If you’re in this situation and lose your job, it’s possible that your employer won’t cover COBRA insurance (the federal law that allows people who lose their jobs to continue receiving benefits). You may also need to pay for coverage yourself through an Obamacare exchange if there isn’t another option available through your state’s healthcare marketplace or Medicaid program.

Look out for these key trends in the health insurance industry as it evolves in the near future!

As the health insurance industry continues to evolve, it’s important to keep an eye out for these key trends:

  • Premiums will continue to increase. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, premiums have increased by an average of 5% each year since 2010 and are projected to rise by 7% in 2019. This means that if your employer has not already done so, you may soon see a significant jump in your monthly premiums or deductible–and if they have already raised them once, there could be more increases in store down the line!
  • More employers will offer high deductible plans as well as health savings accounts (HSAs). High-deductible plans tend to have lower premiums but higher deductibles; HSAs allow individuals who contribute pre-tax dollars into them through payroll deductions or contributions from their employers into an account that can then be used toward eligible healthcare expenses such as doctor visits or prescription drugs.*

Conclusion

Health insurance is an important part of any individual’s life, but it can also be a complicated issue to navigate. Luckily, there are many experts in the field who can help you understand what options are out there and which one might be best suited for your needs. The future of health insurance looks bright with new innovations and trends emerging every day–we just need to keep an eye out for them!

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