Most people get health insurance through their employer or public programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. For those paying for private or individual health insurance in the Mountain West, prices are going up.
ValuePenguin – a financing website owned by LendingTree – was recently audited private insurance costs by the state. It used a 40-year-old’s “Silver” plan as an example, a middle-of-the-road option offered through the federal health insurance marketplace.
From 2022 to 2023, Colorado is seeing the second-highest increase in health insurance costs — nearly 20% — compared to the national average of less than 4%. Wyoming and New Mexico also ranked in the top five with increases of about 15%.
“What this means is that if you are one of the 10% of Americans who buy health insurance in the private market, you will probably see the cost of your health insurance policy be much higher than the expected,” said ValuePenguin’s Divya Sangameshwar.
He noted that these costs are ahead of the grant money.
Meanwhile, Nevada, Utah and Idaho are seeing small decreases in average private insurance premiums each. Prices in Nevada and Utah are falling below 1% and below 6% in Idaho.
In terms of the total cost of planning for 2023, the analysis ranks Wyoming as the most expensive in the country with a monthly average of $882 – that’s about 57% higher than the national average of $560.
“Wyoming is an outlier in the region because of the cost of health insurance,” Sangameshwar said. “If you look at the rest of the region, it’s below the national average, except for Nevada, which is kind of at the national average.”
Why is Wyoming so expensive? That’s a good question – and an answer it depends on who you ask. But he said wages have increased across the board — and will continue to increase — because of rising health care costs.
Sangameshwar recently traveled to the United States himself and found all the insurance plans confusing. He encourages people to call their insurance companies and ask questions like he did before choosing a plan.
“There are many things you can do, the decisions you have to make are very difficult,” he said. “The best way to help your community and yourself when it comes to health insurance is to talk to your friends and neighbors, talk to your insurance companies, talk to people in charge, and try to find answers until they are satisfied. are you.”
To learn more about the health plans mentioned in the report, check Healthcare.gov.
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana , KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from specialized centers in the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.