The biggest insurers in the insurance industry said Wednesday that they will raise prices for consumers in 2018 in an effort to lower costs amid a surge in costs from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The American Medical Association (AMA) and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) both released a statement Wednesday outlining the impact of the policy changes they plan to take in 2018.
The AMA said it would raise premiums for a “slightly lower range” of insurers.
The NAIC said it will increase prices for an “unusually high” range of insurers in 2018 and 2019.
The ACA requires that all insurers offer a minimum of two plans in 2018, with the maximum coverage at a minimum level of four health plans.
A second minimum standard is also in place for 2020.
The ACA also requires insurers to offer at least two plans that cover more than 60 percent of enrollees.
The plans must cover essential health benefits and must cover copayments for patients who cannot pay for the coverage.
According to the AMA and NAIC, the new policy will result in premiums for plans that are currently offering two plans to be around $7,000 per person.
In addition to the new minimum standard, the AMA said insurers must lower their out-of-pocket expenses.
The group said the change will reduce costs for low-income consumers, which will reduce their out of pocket expenses and make it easier for them to afford insurance.
As for the 2018-2019 premium increases, the group said that the change could be as low as $100 for an individual and as high as $3,500 for an employer.
“If insurers do not adjust their policies, it will cost them billions of dollars in reduced premiums and increased costs for consumers and employers, especially for low and middle-income families,” said the AMA in a statement.
While the AMA has said it wants to see higher premiums for the individual market, it has also suggested that some insurers may opt to lower the cost of the plan.
The statement from the NAIC suggested that insurers might be able to make adjustments to their plans that reduce their costs.
Meanwhile, the ACA has been pushing for insurance companies to provide greater coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.
The federal government requires insurers that have not yet launched their health plans to cover at least 30 percent of their enrollees with a pre-condition, including cancer, diabetes, hypertension, asthma and other conditions that cause serious physical and psychological illness.