As health insurance premiums rise sharply, lawmakers and consumers face tough choices

February 22, 2016

In a separate story, the Los Angeles Times reports on what it calls "a cautionary tale" of insurance reform: "Spurred by heart-wrenching stories of sick people denied health coverage, the state of New York did what many of President Obama's critics say he should do now -- it passed a relatively simple law requiring insurers to accept all applicants. ... But two decades later ... premiums in New York are now the highest in the nation by some measures, with the average individual health costing about $9,000 a year."

"The state has become a victim of a dangerous dynamic in insurance markets. Laws allowing consumers to buy insurance at any time often saddle companies with a lot of high-cost customers. That in turn drives up premiums, pushing away younger, healthier people who are vital to a functioning insurance system" (Levey, 2/21).

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