2015 Health Insurance Rates for Maryland

2015 Health Insurance Rates for Maryland

Maryland announced approved 2015 health insurance rates Aug. 22 for six carriers returning to the state’s individual market and two entering the market for the upcoming year. On average, premiums for individuals, couples and families increased 1 percent from 2014 to 2015, reports the Commonwealth Fund.[1]Three of the six carriers returning to Maryland’s individual marketplace saw 2015 premiums decrease on average as follows[2]:

  • All Savers Insurance Company (UnitedHealthcare): -6.7 percent
  • Evergreen Health Cooperative: -10.3 percent
  • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc.: -14.1 percent

The other three returning carriers, all CareFirst companies, saw 2015 premiums increase on average as follows:

  • CareFirst BlueChoice, Inc.: 9.8 percent
  • CareFirst of Maryland, Inc.: 16.2 percent
  • Group Hospitalization and Medical Services, Inc.—also known as CareFirst (GHMSI): 16.2 percent

Average plan rate changes also vary by consumer age, geographical region and plan metal level.

The Commonwealth Fund reported the following overall average rates for Maryland by metal plan.[3]

These rates do not take into account federal, income-based premium subsidies individuals and families may receive when shopping Maryland’s health insurance exchange. Subsidy amounts are based on your household income, family size and the second-lowest-cost silver plan available to you; they may vary from year to year.

It is also important to remember that average rates are across plans and not enrollees. The average person may see different rate fluctuations from year to year based on the factors previously mentioned and the volume of enrollees in each plan. As such, consumers should recalculate their premium subsidy amount, reevaluate their healthcare use and budget, and spend time comparison shopping on and away from their state’s exchange from year to year.

Starting Nov. 9, consumers who wish to shop Maryland’s state-based health insurance exchange may begin browsing their exchange-based plan options at marylandhealthconnection.gov.[4] Open enrollment both on and away from Maryland Health Connection begins Nov. 15.

In the meantime, the public may find Maryland rate decision summaries at healthrates.mdinsurance.state.md.us.

Individual and family health insurance plans

Maryland runs a state-based health insurance exchange called the Maryland Health Benefits Exchange. Marylanders may shop for subsidy-eligible health insurance plans through the Maryland Health Connection portal.

As of Sept. 29, Maryland Health Connection enrollment was as follows[5] [6]:

  • Qualified health insurance plans — 81,091 individuals
  • Medicaid — 376,850 individuals

In 2015, the following eight health insurance carriers will sell qualified individual and family health insurance plans in Maryland’s individual market, either through Maryland Health Connection, in the private marketplace or both. They are as follows[7]:

  1. All Savers (UnitedHealthcare)
  2. Evergreen Health Cooperative
  3. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States Inc.
  4. CareFirst (BlueChoice)
  5. CareFirst (CareFirst of Maryland)
  6. CareFirst (GHMSI)
  7. Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company — New in 2015
  8. UnitedHealthCare of the Mid-Atlantic — New in 2015

Small business health insurance plans

2015 rates were approved for the following companies who will sell small group health insurance plans through Maryland Health Connection’s SHOP portal or in the private marketplace[8]:

  1. Aetna Health (HMO)
  2. Aetna Life
  3. CareFirst
  4. CareFirst (BlueChoice)
  5. CareFirst (GHMSI)
  6. Coventry Health Care of Delaware
  7. Coventry Health & Life
  8. Evergreen Health Cooperative
  9. Kaiser Foundation
  10. MAMSI (UnitedHealthcare) Optimum Choice (UnitedHealthcare)
  11. UnitedHealthcare of the Mid-Atlantic
  12. United Healthcare

Medicaid

As of Jan. 1, 2014, Maryland expanded Medicaid to low-income adults. The net increase in Maryland Medicaid enrollment from Dec. 31, 2013, through Sept. 29, 2014, was 262,979 individuals.[9] Eligible Americans may enroll in Medicaid year-round.

Choosing 2015 coverage

Marylanders may re-enroll in their existing coverage, if it is still available and continues to meet their healthcare and financial needs.

Some things to consider prior to and during 2015 open enrollment:

  • Did your family health needs change in the past year? Will they change in the year to come?
  • Did your income change? Are you eligible for a tax credit, eligible for a larger or smaller tax credit, or no longer eligible for one at all?
  • Did you use the coverage you selected? Was it too much? Too little?
  • Did your plan network include your preferred providers and hospitals? Were they conveniently located?

Health and financial needs change, benchmark plan rates used to determine tax credits fluctuate, tax credit eligibility changes, and so do plan rates and networks. Check out the plan options in your area. Compare monthly premiums, annual deductibles and out-of-pocket limits, coinsurance, copayments and network providers and determine which work best for your healthcare needs and budget. Recalculate your premium tax credit subsidy eligibility.

If you qualify for a premium tax credit, you may want to keep your search to the exchange. If your are not eligible for a premium tax credit or the amount is small, you may want to consider options in the private marketplace. Remember: Tax credits are only available when you shop your state’s exchange. If you plan to buy 2015 coverage through Maryland’s exchange and receive a subsidy, be sure to update your financial and household information.

Use HealthCare.com’s Obamacare tax credit subsidy calculator to see if you might be eligible for a tax credit—and estimate how much. While you’re visiting HealthCare.com, enter your ZIP code to find and compare plans in your area. Call (877) 626-1943 to get help directly from an agent.

 

 

[1] Whitmore, Heidi, et al. “Modest Premium Changes Ahead in Health Insurance Marketplaces in Washington State and Maryland.” Oct. 20, 2014. http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/blog/2014/oct/modest-premium-changes-ahead.

[2] Maryland Insurance Administration. “Commissioner Approves Premium Rates for 2015 Individual Market [Press Release].” Aug. 22, 2015. http://www.mdinsurance.state.md.us/sa/news-center/2015-individual-rates-approved.html.

[3] Whitmore, Heidi, et al. “Modest Premium Changes Ahead in Health Insurance Marketplaces in Washington State and Maryland.” Oct. 20, 2014. http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/blog/2014/oct/modest-premium-changes-ahead.

[4] Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. “Second Year of Maryland Health Connection Insurance MarketplaceBegins Nov. 9 [Press Release].” Sept. 16, 2014. http://marylandhealthconnection.gov/assets/MHBEPressRelease091614.pdf.

[5] Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. “Nearly 458,000 Marylanders Enrolled Through Maryland Health Connection in 2014 [Press Release].” Oct. 3, 2014. http://marylandhbe.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/MHBEMonthlyReport100314.pdf.

[6] Maryland Insurance Administration. “Recent Rate Decisions.” http://www.healthrates.mdinsurance.state.md.us/AllRecentDecision.aspx?MrktType=nRmxEYRJ0GLXFsrUnYJ4lXQkqrns1dCbqneHtP5ZdBA=&mode=ccggUwGhxQvTShknTww6qrkb+0CLEn3Xs9Nsk7itp3w=.

[7] Maryland Insurance Administration. “Commissioner Approves Premium Rates for 2015 Individual Market [Press Release].” Aug. 22, 2015. http://www.mdinsurance.state.md.us/sa/news-center/2015-individual-rates-approved.html.

[8] Maryland Insurance Administration. “Recent Rate Decisions.” http://www.healthrates.mdinsurance.state.md.us/AllRecentDecision.aspx?MrktType=2rWeRcc8mrN2BqrxDV4b1bHtJ0nkES1%2fGaUH5RqMsy4%3d&mode=5qW4BBkCoWrdlRkMO+4%2fj%2fRdZGszlK98yTx%2fCcvpHFg%3d.

[9] Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. “Nearly 458,000 Marylanders Enrolled Through Maryland Health Connection in 2014 [Press Release].” Oct. 3, 2014. http://marylandhbe.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/MHBEMonthlyReport100314.pdf.

About Jenifer Dorsey

Jenifer Dorsey is a regular contributor to HealthCare.com. She has covered health insurance and health and fitness for more than five years. In her free time she is a competitive track cyclist and loves to travel, especially to places with velodromes.

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