Craig Ey, 410-468-2488 (O)
443-604-9599 (C)

Health Insurers Propose Premium Rates for 2019

Public Invited to Submit Comments

BALTIMORE – Health insurers are seeking a range of changes to the premium rates they will charge consumers for plans sold in Maryland’s “Individual Non-Medigap” (INM) and “Small Group (50 or fewer contracts)” (SG) markets in 2019, including dental coverage. The Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) has posted rate filing documents at www.healthrates.mdinsurance.state.md.us. On that website, consumers can review filings and submit comments, as well as find answers to frequently asked questions about the rate review process. The rates submitted by the carriers for the INM market do not include any impacts from a reinsurance program.
“Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, rates on the individual market in Maryland have risen by an outrageous and unsustainable 166 percent, and are set to increase by over 200 percent if we do not take action. I am proud that we joined with the Maryland General Assembly to pass common sense, bipartisan legislation to prevent these massive rate hikes,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Simply put, Marylanders should not have to choose between buying groceries and paying for health insurance. We are working with our federal partners to expedite approval for Maryland’s reinsurance waiver, and we continue to call for action at the federal level to fix our broken health insurance system.”
“The public is invited to provide comments about the rate requests to our actuarial team at the Maryland Insurance Administration,” said Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer, Jr. “We will be reviewing the rate requests and all of the public comments over the summer. We will also hold public meetings and plan to issue our final determination in early September.”
In Maryland, only those rates approved by the Insurance Commissioner may be charged to policyholders. Before approval, all filings undergo a comprehensive analysis of the insurers’ assumptions and actuarial analyses. Public comments are considered as part of the review process. Maryland Insurance Article § 11-603(c) (2) requires that rates must be reasonable in relation to benefits, not inadequate or excessive, and not unfairly discriminatory. Therefore, by law, the Commissioner must disapprove or modify any proposed premium rates that do not meet these criteria.
  • Exhibit 1 is a summary for the INM market. It shows an overall requested rate increase range by legal entity (e.g., INM = 30.2% with a range of 18.5% to 91.4%) affecting 211,773 members.
    The rates submitted by the carriers for the INM market do not include any impacts from a reinsurance program. House Bill 1795 of the 2018 Legislative Session authorized the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, in consultation with the Insurance Commissioner and as approved by the Exchange Board of Trustees, to establish and implement a State Reinsurance Program. The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange anticipates submitting a 1332 State Innovation Waiver on May 20, 2018 to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requesting a state-based reinsurance program. The federally mandated 30 day public comment period for the waiver application began on April 20, 2018 and will continue until the application is submitted to CMS. If CMS approves the waiver, then rate filings will be resubmitted and additional public meetings will be held.
  • Exhibit 2 is a summary for the SG market. It shows an overall requested rate increase range by legal entity (e.g., SG = 6.8% with a range of -1.1% to 15.6%) affecting 264,835 members. Unlike the INM market, SG rates can change on a quarterly basis.
  • Exhibit 3 is a summary for the dental coverage. It shows an overall requested rate increase of 4.9% affecting 58,788 members.
The rates being reviewed by the Insurance Administration do not affect health insurance plans offered by large employers, self-insured plans, “grandfathered” plans purchased before March 2010, or federal plans such as Medicare, Tricare, and federal employee plans.

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.
#  #  #