NewsDetails
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
9/9/2016
FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Tracy Imm, 410-468-2206

The Maryland Insurance Administration Approves Premium Rates for 2017 Small Group and Individual Markets

Open Enrollment Begins Nov. 1 in the individual market; Consumers Encouraged to Shop Rates

BALTIMORE – The Maryland Insurance Administration today announced approved premium rates for both small group and individual health insurance plans to be offered in the state for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2017. More than 90% of Marylanders are covered by health insurance plans offered through large employers or employers who self-insure, or participate in “grandfathered” plans purchased before March 2010 or in Federal plans (such as Medicare, Tricare, or federal employee plans). For these Marylanders, today’s announcement will not affect their rates.

To assist the Administration in making rate decisions, MIA actuaries reviewed the data, methodologies, and assumptions companies used to develop their proposed rates. The Administration also considered public comments, along with other relevant factors, in determining whether to approve, modify or deny requested rates.
 
Approximately 4.1% of Marylanders are enrolled in small group plans. In the small group market, the health insurance rates will increase by an average of 3.3%. This small single digit increase can be attributed to increased competition and two decades of reforms in the State small group market. Eleven companies filed to sell in the small group market next year.
 
Below is a list of carriers and their average approved versus requested change in small group rates:
 
Carriers in the Small Group Market Average Rate Change Requested Average Rate Change Approved Difference​
  Aetna Health Inc. 5.0% 2.0% ​-3.0%
  Aetna Life Insurance Co. 5.0% 2.0% ​-3.0%
  CareFirst BlueChoice Inc. 3.9% 3.4% ​-0.5
  CareFirst of Maryland Inc. 7.4% 9.5% ​2.1%
  Evergreen Health Cooperative 3.7% 9.8% ​6.1%
  Group Hospitalization and Medical Services Inc. (a CareFirst Co.) 7.4% 9.5% ​2.1%
  Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States Inc. 0.3% -2.6% ​-2.9%
  MAMSI Life and Health Insurance Co. (a UnitedHealthCare Co.) -0.1% -4.5% ​-4.4%
  Optimum Choice (a UnitedHealthCare Co.) -0.1% -4.5% ​-4.4%
  United HealthCare Insurance Co. -0.1% -4.5% ​-4.4%
  UnitedHealthCare of the Mid-Atlantic 5.7% 1.2% ​-4.5%
​Total ​3.7% ​3.3% ​-0.4%

Approximately 4.4% of Marylanders are enrolled in individual health plans. In the individual market health insurers have sought rate adjustments in response to significant changes in federal regulation and market dynamics over the past three years. The Administration also announced individual health insurance rates. Below is a list of carriers and their average approved versus requested change in individual rates:
 
Carriers in the Individual Market Average Rate Change Requested Average Rate Change Approved ​Difference​
  CareFirst BlueChoice Inc. 27.8% 23.7% ​-4.1%
  CareFirst of Maryland Inc. 36.6% 31.4% ​-5.2%
  Cigna Health and Life Insurance Co. 29.8% 29.8% ​0.0%
  Evergreen Health Cooperative 8.8% 20.3% ​11.5%
  Group Hospitalization and Medical Services Inc. (a CareFirst Co.) 36.6% 31.4% ​-5.2%
  Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States 25.0% 26.6% ​1.6%
​Total ​27.9% ​25.2% ​-2.7%
 
Open enrollment runs from Nov. 1, 2016, through Jan. 31, 2017. Individuals are encouraged to shop rates and may sign up for new plans or renew existing ones during the open enrollment period.
 
Summaries of each rate decision are available on the MIA’s rate review website at www.HealthRates.mdinsurance.state.md.us.  Sample approved 2017 premium rates for all companies by geographic region also are available on that website. The sample rates do not reflect any employer contribution, any financial assistance a consumer may receive to reduce premiums or cost-sharing for plans purchased through the State’s health insurance marketplace, www.MarylandHealthConnection.gov

Related Links:
 
About the Maryland Insurance Administration

The Maryland Insurance Administration is an independent State agency charged with regulating Maryland’s $28.5 billion insurance industry. For more information about the Insurance Administration, please visit www.insurance.maryland.gov or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MDInsuranceAdmin or Twitter at @MD_Insurance.
 
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