Health reform implementation

Md. consumers could see 25-percent premium increases under ObamaCare

Insurance premiums for some consumers in Maryland will go up by as much as 25 percent once ObamaCare takes full effect next year.

{mosads}The state on Friday released final insurance rates for the private insurance policies available next year through the new insurance exchange created by ObamaCare.

Compared with policies a available in Maryland today, some exchange plans will be more expensive — and premiums could rise by as much as 25 percent for certain policies.

The filings provide grist for both sides of the ObamaCare debate: prices for some consumers will go up next year, but the increases are far lower than what insurance companies initially proposed. 

{mosads}The cheapest policy available to a 25-year-old in Maryland will cost roughly $114 per month, according to the state’s rate filings. That’s among the cheapest rates in the country for a comparable policy, even though it still represents an increase compared with bare-bones policies on the market today.

Maryland officials were able to get every insurance company in the state to reduce their proposed rate increases — in some cases by as much as half.

“These rates are good news for Maryland families looking to shop for plans on the Maryland Health Connection,” said Joshua Sharfstein, secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

For middle-aged adults buying a more robust policy, premiums would average roughly $260 per month — also less than most other states that have filed their rates for next year, and less than the Congressional Budget Office predicted those policies would cost under ObamaCare.

Most people who buy insurance through the exchanges won’t pay the full premium out of pocket. The healthcare law establishes new tax credits to help cover the cost of premiums for low-income consumers.

About 75 percent of the people expected to enroll in Maryland’s exchange will be eligible for tax subsidies, the state said.

–This report was updated at 8:26 p.m.


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