Message from the President
HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS CONTINUE TO RISE -- WHAT CAN YOU DO?
By now, I am sure everyone has heard that a local carrier has submitted a health insurance premium request to the state that would raise individual rates by 48%. While this is just a request and we can expect an adjustment to this request, insurance rates across the board, will be increased substantially for 2018. Everyone agrees that we must come to consensus, as a nation, on a plan that will provide a more affordable health care for our citizens. Unfortunately, that will take a great deal of time and collaboration and won’t help our members and subscribers who are struggling to pay their premiums, simultaneous to dealing with high deductibles and co-pays.
Health Care premiums go up in direct proportion to utilization. Every time a subscriber undergoes an unnecessary test or fills a script they take once and dispose of, premiums are impacted. A commitment to a healthy lifestyle, eating right and exercising goes a long way in controlling health outcomes. Having a Primary Care Physician that coordinates your care and oversees your treatments will, eventually, level set costs and improve outcomes. These systemic changes, however, will take time before the benefits are realized. And, our members are concerned about their health insurance costs today.
The Amherst Chamber and our staff insurance specialists are working diligently to study available plans for the purpose of assisting our members in the selection of benefits that are cost effective and meet their prioritized health care needs. We are reviewing all the current plan designs and attempting to map them to 2018 plans with similar price points while identifying the benefits that will be forfeited. It, certainly, isn’t a perfect solution but will assist our members in selecting a plan that won’t increase their premiums substantially and will continue to offer them their most necessary benefits.
Please make an appointment to meet with our staff in October to solidify your plan choice for 2018. Some plans have the ability to lock in 2017 rates but must be secured early. Call Penny at 632-6905 to schedule your appointment.