News Center > Approved Rates for Exchange
|For Immediate Release
July 26, 2013
|Contact: Vivian D. Laxton
Director of Public Affairs, 410-468-2007
Commissioner Approves Premium Rates for Maryland Health Connection
Reduces Companies' Requested Rates by as Much as 33 Percent
BALTIMORE – Maryland Insurance Commissioner Therese M. Goldsmith today announced premium rates for individual health insurance plans designed to be sold through Maryland’s new health benefit exchange, Maryland Health Connection, beginning Oct. 1, 2013. After careful review of the proposed rates and plan designs submitted by insurance companies, along with all public comments received, Commissioner Goldsmith approved premiums at levels as much as 33 percent below what had been requested. For a 21-year-old non-smoker, for example, options start as low as $93 a month.
Documents summarizing rate decisions for each company are posted on the Maryland Insurance Administration's website, www.mdinsurance.state.md.us.
“Consumers will find a wide variety of plans available through Maryland Health Connection,” Goldsmith said Friday. She commended Maryland Insurance Administration staff for their work during the review process. “Over the last few months, actuaries, analysts, and policy form experts meticulously evaluated hundreds of plan designs and their corresponding rate filings for plans to be sold on Maryland Health Connection.”
Maryland’s review process for health benefit plan filings is comprised of four major areas. Actuaries at the independent regulatory agency conduct statistical analyses and test the assumptions companies used to develop rates. Forms reviewers ensure that policy forms comply with state and federal laws. Public comments are collected and considered. Finally, the Insurance Commissioner, in determining whether to approve, modify or deny requested rates, considers all relevant factors in accordance with Maryland insurance law.
The Maryland Insurance Administration reviewed submissions from nine carriers seeking to offer health plans on the Individual Exchange, including two companies new to Maryland. The carriers are: Aetna Life Insurance; All Savers Insurance Company; CareFirst BlueChoice Inc.; CareFirst of Maryland Inc.; Coventry Health and Life Insurance Company; Coventry Health Care of Delaware; Evergreen Health Cooperative Inc.; Group Hospitalization and Medical Services Inc.; and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States Inc. Health plans to be sold in Maryland’s individual market take effect Jan. 1, 2014.
Exchange plans are categorized as bronze, silver, gold or platinum based on how costs are shared. For example, bronze plans are likely to have lower premiums but higher out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance. In addition to these four “metal levels,” high deductible “catastrophic plans” are available for young adults under age 30 and certain other qualifying individuals. All plans provide coverage for the same set of essential health benefits.
Once a consumer decides what coverage he or she wants to purchase, four factors can affect the premium rate: age, area of the state in which the person resides, whether the person uses tobacco, and how many people are covered by the plan. Subsidies and tax credits may lower costs further for many individuals and families. In addition, if a company does not spend at least 80 cents of every premium dollar on medical care, policyholders will receive rebates.
For charts comparing sample rates and detailed information on approved rates, see Approved Rates for Health Exchange.
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