by Ed Sneineh, Illinois Health Insurance Agent in Chicago

Health insurance premiums are projected to soar significantly in the near future according to some sources, as much as 20%. Government officials and consumer movements that predicted moderate increase between 1% to 2% are crying foul.

According to the Hartford Hartford Courant, "
Connecticut regulators in recent days approved increases of more than 20 percent on some health plans starting Oct. 1." Insurance carriers attributed the increase to overall increase in the cost of health care services, and to the reform policies taken by Congress earlier in March. Among the reform requirements are:

 Children and other adults may stay on their parents policies till age 26. Also new  health programs must cover preventive services,such as  mammograms and colonoscopies, without any out of pocket expense. The new federal laws ban the annual and lifetime limits of the liability of insurance companies under the health insurance policies.  Probably the most costly change was the ban on refusing coverage for children under age 19 because of preexisting condition.

While many companies could justify the rates increase, insurance analysts say that the three companies that announced their significant rate increase are Cigna, Anthem and Unicare. These companies are known to have been involved in stiff price competition. In 2009 Unicare's almost 580,000 members in the states of  Texas and Illinois had find coverage elsewhereicare. Stiff competition was behind that move!
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