The Health Section

Rising health care costs cause increases in insurance rates

Health care costs continue to put pressure on employers, consumers and health insurance rates. U.S. health care spending is on track to grow from $2.9 trillion in 2013 to $5 trillion in 2022.  Spending on prescription drugs is growing by 10 percent, driven in large part by the rise in specialty drugs.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has provided material supporting 2017 premium rate increases of 10 percent or higher on It is expected that each state also will be posting the same information (which in most cases will be a link to the federal website) and will need to have a process in place to accept public comments.

The insurance rates that Aetna is filing for 2017 reflect the costs of health care including the cost of health services, the amount of services people will receive and an increase in pharmaceutical costs.

Other factors driving insurance rates include the scheduled end of the the reinsurance and risk corridor programs outlined in the Affordable Care Act, risk pool experience, and taxes and fees.

Aetna is taking a number of steps to improve affordability by addressing the underlying cost of health care through collaborative agreements with doctors and hospitals, as well as by creating greater transparency within the health care system. Ultimately, we believe the rates we are filing for 2017 will be competitive with the products offered by other carriers in the marketplace.

Health care affordability is a top priority. Aetna’s goal is to offer competitively priced products at a rate that will allow us to cover the cost of doing business while offering our customers high quality products that meet their health care needs.

For insurers that have proposed a premium increase of 10 percent or larger, the following will be posted: