Massachusetts Health Costs on the Rise Again

September 17, 2009

Massachusetts’ largest health insurers say they plan to raise premiums by 7 to 12 percent next year, with small businesses — like insurance agencies — and individuals expected to face the biggest increases.

Insurers surveyed by The Boston Globe predicted that many employers will try to cut costs by instituting “cost sharing,” which boosts copays for doctor visits, or by offering less comprehensive coverage. That puts the burden of higher premiums of workers rather then their employers.

Health care professionals attribute the premium increases to factors including greater use of medical services by aging baby boomers and higher bills from doctors using more costly technology and prescribing more expensive drugs.

Premiums are more than twice as high as they were 10 years ago.

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