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Although health insurance rates in South Dakota had a double-digit increase, its residents will still find themselves grateful that it isn’t as high as in many other states. If the state does better in reducing its uninsured population as it does in health ratings, it has a higher chance of preventing even more drastic rate and premium hikes in the future.

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Ranking top 15 in health ratings

Places that have an overall good health rating typically offer better rates to their consumers. And SD’s consistent slightly higher-than-average health performance helped in somehow controlling the rate increase this year. The 2015 Commonwealth Fund’s Scorecard on State Health System Performance shows that of all the other 49 states and the District of Columbia, this particular state bests 35 of them.

It managed to achieve the overall ranking of 15th place with its exemplary performance in the assessment’s “Avoidable Hospital Use & Costs” indicator, where it scored a quintile of 1 (highest possible). It scored 2 under “Access,” “Prevention & Treatment,” and “Equity.” If it improves many of the criteria under the “Healthy Lives” category where it received a score of 3, fewer emergency department visits will take place.

Take a look at some of the study’s findings under Healthy Lives:

  • Mortality amenable to healthcare: 75 out of 100,000 people

  • Breast cancer fatalities: 19.9 out of 100,000 women

  • Colorectal cancer fatalities: 16.7 out of 100,000 people

  • Percentage of adult smokers: 18%

  • Adult obesity: 31%

  • Obesity in children aged 10-17: 27%

And below are a few key takeaways under Access:

  • 13% of adults (19 to 64 years old) don’t have insurance, compared with the national average of 15%

  • 8% of children (infants to 18 years old) are uninsured, as opposed to the countrywide average of 6%

  • 10% of the adult population chose not to obtain insurance due to the high costs associated with it, in comparison with the 16% average in the U. S.

  • 16% of adults had expensive out-of-pocket medical bills, 4% fewer than the 16% national average

Slight decrease in uninsured rating

Over the years, The Mount Rushmore State struggled with its high uninsured rating, as one can see from this U.S. Department of Health & Human Services report. It did manage to bring this down to 10.2% in 2015 from the 12.4% rating back in 2010. At the time of the study’s completion, there was a 2.2% reduction in the number of people without insurance in the state, representing 19,000 consumers from its estimated population of 858,469 (2015, latest data1).

Projections for this year’s premium averages

South Dakotans will see their rates go up this year, with the increase averaging at 37.25%. Compared with the national average of 25%, this is over 12% higher, but nonetheless lower than some other states, which saw hikes of 40% or even higher

It’s important you enter the health insurance market knowledgeable of what premiums look like on average, so that you have something to compare your own quotes with. In line with this, the United States Department of Health & Human Services provided these premium average projections for this year:

  • Average lowest-cost, monthly premium within metal level: $513

  • Average net premium for lowest cost plan within metal tier: $102

  • Second-lowest silver before advance premium tax credit (for a 27-year old with a $25,000 household income): $374

  • Second-lowest silver after advance premium tax credit (for a 27-year old with a $25,000 household income): $142

  • Second-lowest silver before advance premium tax credit (for a family of four with a $60,000 household income): $1,355

  • Second-lowest silver after advance premium tax credit (for a 27-year old with a $25,000 household income): $405

Availability of affordable plan options

You don’t have to sacrifice the level of coverage you’ll get from your plan just to trim your expenses. You’ll still find affordable options made available to the South Dakota consumers, and not just those that the Affordable Care Act offers. In fact, a plan from a private insurer may even cost less than one offered by Obamacare. Just take the time to compare plans you can qualify for. To get more details about health insurance, go here.

References:

https://www.healthinsurance.org/south_dakota-state-health-insurance-exchange/

http://datacenter.commonwealthfund.org/scorecard/state/43/south-dakota/

https://aspe.hhs.gov/compilation-state-data-affordable-care-act

https://aspe.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/212721/2017MarketplaceLandscapeBrief.pdf

1Latest data: The U.S. census is conducted every 10 years as per requirement of the United States Constitution. The 23rd edition and the latest data is the 2010 United States Census. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_Census
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