Con­sumers ben­e­fit from bi­par­ti­san ef­fort to es­tab­lish state rein­sur­ance pro­gram

The Avenue News - - NEWS -

Gov­er­nor Larry Hogan to­day an­nounced ap­proval of an av­er­age 13.2 per­cent pre­mium rate de­crease for in­di­vid­ual health in­sur­ance plans with an ef­fec­tive date of Jan­uary 1, 2019. These rates re­flect the im­pact of Mary­land’s 1332 State In­no­va­tion Waiver, which cre­ates a State Rein­sur­ance Pro­gram to help sta­bi­lize Mar yland’s in­di­vid­ual health in­sur­ance mar­ket and pre­vent pre­vi­ously pre­dicted mas­sive rate hikes.

“Rather than huge in­creases in health in­sur­ance rates, we are in­stead de­liv­er­ing sig­nif­i­cantly and dra­mat­i­cally lower rates for Mary­lan­ders,” said Gov­er­nor Hogan. “For the first time since the Af­ford­able Care Act went into ef­fect, all in­di­vid­ual in­sur­ance rates in Mary­land will go down in­stead of up.”

Mary­land’s 1332 State In­no­va­tion Waiver was the re­sult of a bi­par­ti­san leg­isla­tive ef­fort led by the Hogan ad­min­is­tra­tion and the pre­sid­ing of­fi­cers of the Mar yland Gen­eral Assem­bly. The waiver was ap­proved by the Cen­ters for Medi­care and Med­i­caid Ser vices on Au­gust 22, 2018.

Prior to ap­proval of the waiver and cre­ation of Mary­land’s Rein­sur­ance Pro­gram, in­sur­ers had re­quested an av­er­age rate in­crease of 30.2 per­cent, with rate in­crease re­quests rang­ing from 91.4 per­cent to 18.5 per­cent across car­ri­ers. With the State Rein­sur­ance Pro­gram in place, rate re­quests were amended by car­ri­ers to re­flect its im­pact, and af­ter rig­or­ous re­view and scru­tiny by the Mary­land In­sur­ance Ad­min­is­tra­tion (MIA), in­di­vid­ual rates were ul­ti­mately ap­proved at an av­er­age de­crease of 13.2 per­cent, with de­creases rang­ing from 17 per­cent to 7.4 per­cent across car­ri­ers. rates up­dated font

The State Rein­sur­ance Pro­gram, cou­pled with the MIA’s ac­tu­ar­ial scru­tiny and re­view of rate fil­ings, re­sulted in av­er­age in­di­vid­ual pol­icy re­newal rates that are 43.4 per­cent lower than what was orig­i­nally filed, and 13.2 per­cent lower than 2018 pre­mi­ums. The sav­ings for 2019 in­di­vid­ual mar­ket pre­mi­ums is es­ti­mated to be $481 mil­lion. The ac­tu­ar­ial re­view by the Mary­land In­sur­ance Ad­min­is­tra­tion rep­re­sented $75 mil­lion in sav­ings and the 1332 waiver re­sulted in $406 mil­lion of the to­tal sav­ings.

“As a re­sult of these lower rates, the health in­sur­ance mar­ket in Mary­land will fi­nally have the chance to be­come more com­pet­i­tive and dy­namic. This new, in­no­va­tive pro­gram will lead to in­creased com­pe­ti­tion and more in­sur­ers en­ter­ing the mar­ket, which will help make healthcare even more af­ford­able for all Mary­lan­ders.” said Gov­er­nor Larry Hogan.

“I am in­cred­i­bly proud of the bi­par­ti­san work we were able to ac­com­plish this year un­der Gov­er­nor Hogan’s lead­er­ship,” said In­sur­ance Com­mis­sioner Al Red­mer, Jr. “As a re­sult of this ef­fort, Mary­lan­ders in the In­di­vid­ual Health In­sur­ance Mar­ket will re­ceive a des­per­ately needed de­crease in pre­mium rates. While this is a crit­i­cal first step, it is only a tem­po­rary one. The MIA looks for­ward to work­ing with the Gov­er­nor’s team and the Gen­eral Assem­bly to achieve long-term rate sta­bil­ity and to en­hance com­pe­ti­tion in this crit­i­cal mar­ket.”

2019 Open En­roll­ment: Open en­roll­ment runs from Thurs­day, Nov. 1, 2018 through Satur­day, De­cem­ber 15, 2018. Mary­lan­ders may sign up for new plans or re­new ex­ist­ing ones dur­ing this pe­riod. It is crit­i­cally im­por­tant that Mary­lan­ders shop this year in light of these rate de­creases to en­sure they get the best value for their poli­cies based upon their per­sonal needs. More com­pre­hen­sive in­for­ma­tion on pre­mium rates can be found at: www.healthrates.mdin­sur­ance. state.md.us.

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