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Vermont Is The Canary In The Coal Mine

Insurers Already Seeking Premium Increases as High as 16.5 Percent

The American Rescue Plan saved families thousands of dollars on their health care premiums, but these savings are set to expire, and a health care crisis is looming. This week gave us the first glimpse into how this will play out across the country when private insurers in Vermont proposed rate increases as high as 16.5 percent. Unless Congress extends the health care premium reductions in the American Rescue Plan, millions of Americans will see dramatic increases in their 2023 health insurance premiums, and many will no longer be able to afford insurance at all. 

Experts say insurers are likely to seek double digit increases in state after state, due to issues like supply chain shortages, projected COVID costs, and increased hospital costs. Congress must move swiftly to prevent skyrocketing premium increases and protect health coverage for millions. If Congress does not act, news of premiums skyrocketing will be front and center just as Americans begin signing up for coverage in November.

The ARP and Vermont

In Vermont, the American Rescue Plan saved families thousands on their premiums, and if the expanded tax credits end this year, it will force more than 16,000 Vermonters to pay significantly more for their health coverage, and force 3,000 to become uninsured. 

The Premium Increase Timeline:

  • Currently Underway: Insurance providers are currently negotiating premium rates for 2023. If Congress does not act to extend the ARP’s premiums savings, insurers will be forced to assume the tax credits will expire at the end of the year, which will result in sizable premium price increases. Already, private health insurers in Vermont have requested approvals for double-digit premium increases from state regulators in 2023.
  • July: Most premium rate changes on state exchanges will start being  finalized and public in July. 
  • September & October: Enrollees will be notified of plan price changes officially in September and October, with rates required to be finalized by October 15.
  • November 1: The annual open enrollment period for ACA marketplaces begins November 1.
  • November 8: Election Day is November 8, one week after open enrollment for 2023 is set to begin