The average amount paid for health insurance premiums by American policyholders rose notably between 2015 and 2016.
And then that premium spike reportedly doubled during the 2016/2017 timeframe.
How concerning is that for insureds in Oklahoma and across the country?
The answer is obvious, of course, and can be supplied in a single word: very. Many American individuals and families – especially consumers in the middle class and lower-income stratum – are dealing with pronounced financial challenges these days, notwithstanding a variety of positive economic indicators.
The last thing they need to deal with is a nonresponsive or confrontational insurance company that refuses to contractually honor a legitimate payment claim under a policy.
Insurance costs are unquestionably high enough already. A recent article in a national health-linked publication notes surging care costs all across the board for Americans, even those with supposedly protective safeguards in place via company-sponsored or private insurance plans.
As noted, monthly premiums are heading north in seemingly non-stop fashion. Co-pays are on the rise. Deductibles are spiking, as are out-of-pocket costs. That latter exaction often requires an insured to pay many thousands of dollars before an insurer will even budge in response to a policy claim.
“Cost increases at this level aren’t sustainable,” says a principal of a company sponsoring a recent university study on insurance trends.
Insured Oklahomans and their peers nationally already know that. And they feel both anger and frustration in instances where their bona-fide payment claims in times of illness are met by insurer delay, underpayment or flat claim rejection.
Insurers have an ethical and contractual duty to perform in good faith when dealing with a policyholder. When they refuse to honor that commitment, an adversely affected claimant can turn to proven pro-policyholder insurance attorneys for guidance and aggressive legal representation.