Senior Policy Analyst
Health insurers are starting to submit, for state review, their premium rates for the coverage they will offer in the individual and small group markets next year, when the major components of health reform take effect. The latest batch comes from Maryland, where the largest insurer, CareFirst, has asked the state for a 25 percent average rate increase for its 2014 individual-market plans compared to its 2013 products. Health reform critics may cite this as the latest evidence of so-called “rate shock,” but a closer look at the CareFirst proposal shows that isn’t the case.
Maryland’s Insurance Administration must still review CareFirst’s request, determine whether the proposed rates are based on reasonable assumptions, and decide whether to approve the proposed rates, with final prices becoming available to consumers by this fall.