Now comes the most ominous sign yet health insurance premiums are going way up: Most health insurers in the individual market have stopped guaranteeing a person's premiums for a year. And as one commentator quipped: they aren't doing it because they expect to be lowering people's premiums.
Traditionally in the individual market, where people buy their own (i.e., non-group) health coverage, applicants sign a contract and the insurance company guarantees that premium for a year. I'm told that about 12 percent of individual applicants would write a check for the year's premium, rather than being billed monthly.
No more. Health insurers started sending out notices in January informing insurance brokers and agents that the companies will no longer guarantee that premium rate. From now on it's month to month.