Higher health insurance premiums expected in 2015

Premiums will increase 1.6% next year

BOSTON (WWLP) – After a failed first attempt, the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority is set to launch a functional website that should help people find affordable health plans. The new and improved website is expected to handle up to 46,000 users at one time, and instantly alert anyone who qualifies for Medicaid.

“What we’re trying to do is have a single point where a consumer can come in and compare different plans. They can find out whether or not they qualify for a subsidized plan or not and those are the types of things that are important,” said State Representative Michael Finn (D-West Springfield).

On Thursday, the Connector Board voted to increase premium rates for standardized plans. If you purchased health insurance through the Connector last year, expect to pay a little more in 2015.

“There is a very modest increase similar to inflation in other markets as well. We certainly are very pleased that the increase is very, very modest, only 1.6% on average,” said Health Connector Executive Director Jean Yang.

Despite the increase, western Massachusetts has some of the lowest premiums compared to other parts of the state.

The new website is expected to launch on November 15, just in time for the next open enrollment period.

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