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Expect higher health insurance premiums, but not much higher

by SuperiorInvest

Workers are likely to see more options for mental health care — but they may have to wait for appointments. Employers reported increasing demand for mental health services, Kaiser found, and more than a quarter of large employers said they had added mental health providers to their networks, either for in-person or online treatment. Still, about 30 percent said their networks lacked enough mental health professionals to provide workers with timely access to care.

For people who don’t have insurance through employment and don’t qualify for government programs like Medicare or Medicaid, open enrollment at HealthCare.gov, the federal health insurance marketplace, began Tuesday. Open enrollment is also underway or soon to be in 17 states (plus the District of Columbia) that operate their own exchanges.

The good news is that Extended Premium Financial Assistance, first made available as part of the federal government’s pandemic relief program, has been extended by Congress through 2025 as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. As a result, the “vast majority” of people buying insurance in the Affordable Care Act marketplace receive subsidies that lower their premiums, The Kaiser Report found.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency that oversees HealthCare.gov. four out of five customers could find plans for $10 a month or less, after tax credits.

In addition, “family glitch” a loophole that prevented some family members of lower-wage workers from getting financial assistance with marketplace premiums was fixed for 2023.

People who don’t qualify for marketplace subsidies could see their premiums rise by an average of 4 percent next year for the comparison plan, a change from recent year-over-year declines. But because of the expansion of more generous subsidies, people who previously didn’t qualify for financial aid may now be eligible, so they should shop online to see if it makes sense to change plans.

“People should be encouraged to go back and see what they’re eligible for,” said Katie Keith, director of health policy and legal initiatives at the Georgetown University Law Center.

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