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Prior approval aims to keep health premiums down

Posted On Fri, October 22, 2010

In addition to spreading the availability of healthcare, insurance officials are also grappling with ways to keep costs manageable.

Data from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that on average, premiums for family coverage increased 9.2 percent in 2005 from the previous year. Rates have steadily risen since then, frequently out-pacing inflation. In fact, rate increases have gone up more than 5 percent each year between 2000 and 2005.

The New York State Insurance Department is hailing its prior approval system for health insurance premium increases a success. Superintendent James Wrynn says proposed hikes have been significantly reduced.

"With prior approval, we have taken one step toward cost containment," says Wrynn. "But all stakeholders need to cooperate in order to keep health insurance affordable. The health of our state and its citizens depends on it."

There are ways consumers can reduce their healthcare costs. Staying in good shape and eating well may help keep people healthy and therefore require less medical attention. It's also wise for consumers to get the appropriate shots and vaccines to prevent serious conditions from arising which could require further attention.

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