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HealthPocket’s “Rate-Up” Roundup

Insurers Often Increase Prices During an Application

By Ron Shinkman

Feb 21, 2013

California Region

A new study by a Sunnyvale firm concludes that 80% of the individual health plans offered to applicants in the United States can be paired with a “rate-up” – an often sharp rise in price from the originally quoted premium prior to the finalization of enrollment. The study, undertaken by HealthPocket, which offers Web-based health plan shopping tools for consumers, found that 18% of all consumers encounter a rate-up. The price increase is often the product of the underwriting process and the vetting for pre-existing health conditions. They may prompt the insurer to consider an applicant more of a financial risk, therefore justifying the hike in premium.
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