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Maryland's Biggest Health Insurer Wants 25 Percent Rate Increase

PHOTO: Maryland's largest health insurer wants to raise rates significantly. Photo credit: Microsoft Images
PHOTO: Maryland's largest health insurer wants to raise rates significantly. Photo credit: Microsoft Images
April 26, 2013

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Affordable Care Act means insurers can't turn away people who are sick, and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield in Maryland says it needs to boost premiums because of the law.

The state's largest health insurer revealed this week it wants to raise rates for individual policies by 25 percent next year.

Vinny DeMarco, president of the Maryland Citizens Health Initiative, is hopeful the state's insurance commissioner will reject the request.

"The most important thing to understand is these are proposed rates,” DeMarco says. “And the insurance commissioner is going to take a hard look at them."

DeMarco says it's encouraging that other companies have proposed lower increases.

And, he adds, it's important to remember that millions of Americans who don't have health coverage now will get it under the Affordable Care Act.

"I think when people see the end result of the Affordable Care Act,” he says, “they're going to see it will help all Marylanders."

CareFirst issued a statement saying it's doing everything in its power to keep premiums at levels that are as low as possible, given the new rules and regulations.

The public gets 30 days to comment on the proposed rate increases. You can weigh in on the Maryland Insurance Administration's website.




Alison Burns, Public News Service - MD