South Dakota: Will my health insurance cost more in 2017?

South Dakota Health Insurance Premiums Up 38 Percent

South Dakotans shopping for health insurance are experiencing sticker shock.

The Argus Leader reports that patients with Avera Health Plans will pay 38 percent more for health insurance. That’s more out of pocket every month to receive the same coverage.

And one small business owner would happily pay a 38 percent premium increase.

David Woodbury told the Argus Leader that his family’s health insurance premiums are “set to increase by more than 280 percent next year.”

“I’m considering dropping all of us and just paying out of pocket,” Woodbury told the paper. “Hopefully nothing major happens, but even if you break an arm it doesn’t cost that much.”

Patients Rising Perspective: Patients in South Dakota pay more, get less

But, what are patients in South Dakota getting in return for higher health insurance premiums?

For many patients, higher premiums come with more fights with insurance companies when it comes time to submit claims.

“If a patient is in the position to fight, argue, and remain adamant in the face of insurer denials, they may eventually obtain access to these doctor-recommended drugs,” explains our co-founder and policy director Jonathan Wilcox. “Unfortunately, many patients accept these decisions; they don’t need one more war to fight.”

“Throughout South Dakota, people are facing higher health insurance costs while their insurers continue to deny medically necessary drugs. When this results in detrimental health effects, who is to blame? We require doctors to take an oath to do no harm; should insurers do the same?”

“These problems of systemic insurance design aren’t going away, and will be waiting for the next president in 2017 – whoever he or she is. It’s a shame that the necessary reform conversation won’t begin until after the election. South Dakotans need help now.”

What Patients in South Dakota Say About Health Care

A recent nationwide study by the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease found that South Dakotans say their top health care priorities for politicians and government officials should be managing premium increases, lowering co-pays and deductibles and holding insurance companies accountable. Here are a few of the other survey findings:

  • 31 percent of South Dakotans say their health insurance coverage is getting worse
  • 45 percent have seen their costs increase.
  • 18 percent of South Dakotans said the treatment their doctor recommended was not covered by insurance and 21 percent said the treatment of someone they know was not covered.
  • 88 percent of South Dakotans say it’s somewhat or very important for health plans to disclose how often and why they decide to deny coverage of doctor-prescribed treatments

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