Premiums To Rise For Many Marylanders
By: Alissa Gulin, Daily Record
Many Marylanders with individual health insurance plans won’t be happy when their first bill for 2015 arrives, but others will be pleasantly surprised by lower premiums.
Everyone covered by an individual CareFirst plan will see their premiums increase, though not by as much as the insurer had requested.
Premiums for some CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield plans will rise, on average, by 16.2 percent, according to information released Friday by the Maryland Insurance Administration. CareFirst, the largest insurer in Maryland, had requested increases of as much as 30.2 percent for some plans.
The MIA reviews annual rate requests from all carriers before making a final decision. The rates released Friday do not apply to the majority of insured Marylanders – those with employer-sponsored coverage.
People with CareFirst BlueChoice Inc. plans will see premiums rise, on average, by 9.8 percent. The 16.2 percent increase is for people covered by CareFirst of Maryland Inc. and Group Hospitalization and Medical Services Inc., which is owned by CareFirst.
Other Marylanders will enjoy lower premiums, by 14 percent or more.
Premiums for All Savers Insurance Co. plans will drop by 6.7 percent, on average. Evergreen Health Cooperative will reduce premiums by 10.3 percent, on average.
Customers of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States Inc. will see their premiums fall by 14.1 percent, on average.
The rates released Friday reflect the average change that people enrolled in a given plan will experience. The actual increase or decrease in premiums will vary depending on an individual’s age, tobacco use, residence and what cost-sharing provisions they selected.
The rates will apply to coverage that begins in January.
Premium rates were also announced for two insurance companies that decided to enter the Maryland individual insurance market in 2015 after not participating last year.
Cigna Health and Life Insurance Co. and UnitedHealthCare of the Mid-Atlantic Inc. are now offering plans that are priced competitively with the other carriers.
“With new companies offering plans and a number of premium rates dropping, Maryland’s individual insurance market is robust and competitive,” Insurance Commissioner Therese Goldsmith said in a statement.