In May, the Maryland insurance Administration (MIA) released the insurance carriers' proposed rates for 2019 plans for the individual market. They range from Kaiser's 34.5% request to CareFirst's 91.4% for its PPO. If Maryland receives approval from the Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services for its State Innovation 1332 Waiver application, then we would anticipate that the carriers will resubmit their requests in time for posting for Open Enrollment, which starts on November 1, 2018.
Even with reductions in premiums, however, any approved increase will be on top of rates that are already unaffordable for many Marylanders. And, this will happen within the context of the Trump Administration's on-going efforts to sabotage the ACA.
Therefore, as the MIA conducts its rate review process, it is imperative that the Insurance Commissioner hear from consumers. As we have in the past, Consumer Health First is submitting substantive comments to the MIA and we will participate in the public hearing to be announced in early July. In the letter, we provide a number of recommendations on the rate review process as well as other steps we believe could address both short- and long-term challenges in providing affordable coverage options to those in the individual market.
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