In an article published in yesterday's Baltimore Business Journal, it was reported that CareFirst has introduced a last minute insurance rate increase request for the 2017 enrollment period. The new requests are more than double than their original rate increase requests in some instances.
CareFirst's rate increase requests went from 12% for their HMO product to 27.8%, and from 30% to 36.6% for its PPO products. This will almost certainly put these plans out of reach in terms of affordability for many consumers, since the average monthly cost is predicted to be $382 - $478 for a mid level plan for a 40 yr. old.
Consumer Health First President, Leni Preston, went on the record saying that we are "extremely concerned" about the new requests from CareFirst. Consumer Health First presented testimony at the first public hearing which expressed concerns about the morbidity rates CareFirst used to determine rate increases in the past. Read the CHF testimony here.
"We are going to be looking into the basis for the proposed increase...we need to see what the justification is for this," she said. "Also with the timing, it being so late into the process, we want to make sure there is adequate transparency and opportunity to comment...it's important that consumers understand the impact."
A public hearing regarding these additional rate requests will be held on August 15th, at 11:00 AM at the Insurance Administration headquarters.
In the meantime - watch the box in the upper left hand corner of this page to keep up to date on the latest in the rate review process.