After Obamacare Changes, Maryland Approves Last-Minute Premium Hike

October 26, 2017

Maryland insurance regulators said Wednesday that they approved last-minute rate increases requested by health insurers for individual plans sold under the Affordable Care Act.

The Maryland Insurance Administration decided to consider rate rises after the Trump administration said earlier this month that it would no longer pay insurance companies subsidies that helped cover the cost of co-payments and other out-of-pocket expenses for low-income policy holders.

Plans sold by CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States will be affected.

The new rate rises only apply to consumers who buy silver plans on the state exchange under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Those who receive subsidies are required to buy these middle-of-the-road plans. About 96,000 Marylanders were expected to enroll in those plans this year, according to the insurance administration.

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The insurance regulators said the majority of consumers who face rate increases will get a separate subsidy to offset the more expensive premiums. When their premiums rise, the second subsidy, called a premium tax credit, also will increase. Those who don’t qualify for additional subsidies can shop around for another plan.

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