In big news for Maryland residents — and maybe a predictor of what is to come for the entire country — the largest provider of health insurance in the state of Maryland is proposing a 25% hike in its premiums in 2014, citing the increased cost of covering previously-uncovered preexisting conditions as set forth in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Read the full story in an article published in the Washington Post.
While this particular rate increase is not a “done deal” since Maryland is one of 31 states that has the right to deny the insurer’s requested rate hike, the article brings to light some of the larger questions surrounding the implementation of the next phase of ACA:
- Does this move signal the so-called “rate shock” that many industry experts have been predicting as insurers look for ways to cover higher costs associated with ACA?
- Will government subsidies (in the form of tax credits) be generous enough to protect lower- to middle-income individuals from the impact of premium rate increases, and thereby fulfill the goal of affordable insurance for all?
- Will the more robust coverage mandated by ACA be considered as “worth it” to consumers who, although they may be paying more for insurance, may be getting more coverage in return?
- Will younger, healthier Americans experience some of the largest increases of all?
- Will states in which regulators do not have authority over insurance companies’ rates see premium hikes even greater than 25%?
At Virginia Medical Plans, we are all too aware that the impact could be dramatic for many Americans. That is why we will continue to stay abreast and keep you informed so, when the time comes, you can make an educated decision.
Give us a call today. We’ll be happy to go over your options.