Tags: Healthcare Reform | Trump Administration | repeal and replace | individual mandate | obamacare | maryland

Maryland Health Insurers Seek Sky-High Premiums

Maryland Health Insurers Seek Sky-High Premiums
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By    |   Monday, 07 May 2018 05:11 PM

Maryland insurers are asking for large rate increases on healthcare sold on the individual health plan market in 2019, The Washington Post reports.

CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, the largest insurer in the Mid-Atlantic, has requested an average 26.4 percent increase, including an 18.5 percent increase for its HMO plans and a 91.4 percent for its PPO plans. Kaiser Permanente requested a 37.4 increase on HMO plans. CareFirst and Kaiser are the only insurers still operating on the state's individual market.

"We are at a place in the individual market where any increase at all creates stress in the marketplace," Maryland health insurance commissioner Alfred W. Redmer said. "We have folks in Maryland that are struggling, that are trying to do the right thing — and they're paying more for their health insurance than they are for their mortgage. While an 18 percent increase is better than last year, it's still in some cases, catastrophic, if you're the young family that has got to pay that 18 percent increase."

The state, though, passed a bill in mid-April to create a state reinsurance program aimed at stabilizing health plan premium increases. The reinsurance program will use state and federal reinsurance funding to help cover the most expensive claims from people insured on the state's Obamacare marketplace. But it is only a temporary fix.

Redmer said more than 30,000 people have dropped out of individual plans, and he believes the state has "been in a death spiral for a year or two."

Insurers say rising premiums are, in part, due to some policies being promoted by the Trump administration, including the repeal of Obamacare's individual mandate penalty, according to The Washington Post.

"There's been a series of actions taken by the current administration that have undermined enrollment," Chet Burrell, president and CEO of CareFirst, told the Post.

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Amid reductions in individual healthcare plans, individual Maryland insurers are asking for large rate increases on healthcare sold on the individual health plan market in 2019, according to The Washington Post.
repeal and replace, individual mandate, obamacare, maryland
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2018-11-07
Monday, 07 May 2018 05:11 PM
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