Maryland ACA marketplace insurers request average 30% premium hike

Health insurers selling policies on the ACA's marketplace proposed to raise premiums by an average 30 percent for 2019, according to The Washington Post.

The proposed increases range from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield's 18.5 percent hike on its individual health maintenance organization plans, which the majority of its individual customers purchase, to 91.4 percent on its preferred provider organization plans. Kaiser Permanente requested a 37.4 percent increase on its individual HMO plans.

Many enrollees on the ACA's individual market are eligible for subsidies to offset the price hikes. But those who have an income higher than the subsidy threshold face the brunt of increases. 

Alfred W. Redmer Jr., Maryland's health insurance commissioner, told The Washington Post as premiums have continued to increase significantly on the individual marketplace, healthy individuals are dropping coverage and not offsetting the cost of covering sicker people. Mr. Redmer said he hopes Maryland's efforts to stabilize the marketplace under a reinsurance program will curb some of the increases for consumers.

The proposed premium hikes are subject to review and will be finalized later this year, according to the report.

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