2015 HIX Premium Hikes May Top 7%

Christopher Cheney, for HealthLeaders Media , August 1, 2014

"When we look at rates, we also need to look at cost sharing," she said, adding that the number and scale of cost-sharing mechanisms on the exchanges such as co-pays and deductibles has fueled some of the harshest HIX criticism. "There's a lot of experimentation going on. At some point, we need to have fewer cost sharing options."

Healthcare providers view cost-sharing as a net negative financially because higher cost sharing results in a higher debt collection burden.

In July, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Breakaway Policy Strategies released a report on exchange cost sharing in 2014. The key findings, which focus on HIX health insurance policies in the "silver" tier, include primary care physician visit copays as high as $75 and specialist visit copays as high as $150.

In addition, unlike most employer-sponsored insurance, many silver policies on the exchanges subject PCP and specialist office visits to a deductible, the report found.

"Anyone who's only looking at the premium rates in 2015 is going to miss a lot of action," Hempstead said.

Christopher Cheney is the senior finance editor at HealthLeaders Media.
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