FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
10/29/2018
FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Tracy Imm, 410-468-2206

The Maryland Insurance Administration Approves Premium Rates for 2019 Small Group and Individual Markets

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

BALTIMORE – The Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) announced more detailed information on the 2019 premium rates previously announced by Governor Hogan on September 21, 2018. The MIA has approved premium rates for both “Small Group (50 or fewer employees)” (SG) and “Individual Non-Medigap” (INM) health insurance plans to be offered in the state for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2019. More than 90% of Marylanders are covered by health insurance plans offered through large employers (51-plus) 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.
 
“We have been very concerned with the escalating premiums and the adverse effect this has had on hardworking Marylanders," said Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer, Jr. “In Maryland, we are implementing bipartisan approaches that lower the costs for Marylanders and bring more competition to the Maryland health insurance marketplace.”
 
In Maryland, only those rates approved by the Insurance Commissioner may be charged to policyholders. 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. For the second straight year, the MIA also engaged an outside actuarial firm, Lewis and Ellis, to do an independent third-party review. Two public rate hearings were held on July 30 and September 17, 2018.
 
Small Group Market Summary: Approximately 270,000 Marylanders are enrolled in small group plans on June 30, 2018. The rates will increase by an average of 5.0% versus the originally filed 7.0%.
Below is a list by carrier of rates requested versus approved:
Company Name
Members
as of 06/30/18
Type of Network
2019 Filed Renewal
2019 Approved Renewal
Difference (2019 Approved – Filed)
Aetna Health, Inc.
3,383
HMO
+10.7%
+3.4%
-7.3%
Aetna Life Insurance Co.
4,752
PPO
+8.7%
+3.0%
-5.7%
CareFirst BlueChoice, Inc.
160,705
HMO
+4.9%
+5.0%
+0.1%
CareFirst of Maryland, Inc. and Group Hospitalization and Medical Services, Inc. (both CareFirst companies)
22,396
PPO
+3.8%
-0.7%
-4.5%
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc.
9,345
HMO
+3.3%
+3.2%
-0.1%
MAMSI Life and Health Insurance Co. (a UHC company)
22,596
EPO
+12.0%
+5.6%
-6.4%
UnitedHealth
Care Insurance Co.
23,144
PPO
+13.3%
+10.6%
-2.7%
UnitedHealth
Care of the Mid-Atlantic
5,565
HMO
+9.5%
+6.3%
-3.2%
Optimum Choice (a UHC company)
18,381
HMO
+14.9%
+6.4%
-8.5%
TOTAL
270,267
 
+7.0%
+5.0%
-2.0%
 
Individual Non-Medigap Market Summary: Approximately 192,000 Marylanders are enrolled in individual health plans. Health insurers have sought rate adjustments in response to significant changes in federal regulation and market dynamics over the past few years. The average decrease will be -13.2% versus the originally filed 30.2% increase. Two carriers will offer plans in this market: CareFirst and Kaiser.
Below is a list of carriers and their requested change in rates versus approved rates:
Company Name
Members as of 06/30/18
Type of Network
Pre-1332 Avg. Rate Increase (Requested 5/1/18)
Post-1332 Avg. Rate Increase (Presented at 9/17/18 hearing)
MIA Approved Rate for 2019 (Post-1332)
CareFirst BlueChoice, Inc.
109,368
HMO
+18.5%
-15.8%
-17.0%
CareFirst Group Hospitalization and Medical Services, Inc.
4,896
PPO
+91.4%
-11.1%
-11.1%
CareFirst CFMI
8,178
PPO
+91.4%
-11.1%
-11.1%
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc.
69,837
HMO
+37.4%
-6.9%
-7.4%
Total
192,279
 
+30.2%
-12.4%
-13.2%
 
2019 Open Enrollment: Open enrollment runs from Nov. 1, 2018 through December 15, 2018. Marylanders 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.  Correspondence between the MIA and the insurers during the course of the rate review from May 1, 2018 through approval is also available. Sample approved 2019 premium rates for all companies by geographic region also are available on that website. For SGs the sample rates do not reflect any employer contribution. For the INM market the sample rates do not reflect 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 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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