CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) – From hospital costs to what a patient pays, the coronavirus pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of health care.
For the state of West Virginia, daily hospital health care costs increased by 22% since 2016 with hospital healthcare costs rising to $1,624 per patient according to QuoteWizard. Along with West Virginia, 28 other states experienced at least a 20% increase in hospital spending.
Although how much a hospital charges to care for a patient isn’t a direct indicator of how people will pay for health care, QuoteWizard noticed a consistent pattern: As hospital expenses rose, so did the cost of individuals paid for health insurance.
In 2021, the average West Virginian pays $694 a month for insurance. Now, people can expect to pay $831 — an increase of $137 from last year.
According to Penguin Value from Lending Tree, with Georgia seeing a more than 40% reduction in the cost of insurance. A possible reason for the price hike? The end of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) under WV Policy
As a federal response to the pandemic, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act to increase income-based subsidies known as Advanced Premium Tax Credits (ACPTC). These loans helped make insurance premiums affordable for Americans, including 23,000 West Virginians; however, they will expire at the end of 2022 around the beginning of November.
With rising health care prices, an estimated 5 to 10 million people lost their health insurance, putting a strain on the health care system. Since any accumulated debt is absorbed by medical providers, this means that providers pay more for services and, in turn, reflects higher prices for insurance premiums.
West Virginia also has an older population with higher rates of certain health issues such as obesity, health conditions and diabetes, which can cause interest rates to be higher, according to Lending tree.
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