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Small Business Employee Benefits and HR Blog

Maryland Health Insurance Exchange Update - Proposed Carriers & Rates

Recently, the Maryland Health Insurance Exchange released that 13 insurance carriers have applied to offer plans through Maryland's state-run Health Insurance Exchange, called "Maryland Health Connection." Six (6) carriers applied to offer medical plans (qualified health plans, or QHPs) and seven (7) carriers applied to offer dental-only plans.

To summarize, the Maryland Health Insurance Exchange will be an online marketplace where where individuals and families can shop for health insurance plans and receive access to federal tax subsidies. Maryland small businesses can purchase policies through the group exchange (called the "SHOP" marketplace). Currently, there are over 700,000 uninsured residents in Maryland.

maryland health insurance exchange

The Maryland Health Insurance Exchange will open for enrollment October 1, 2013 with coverage beginning January 1, 2014. 

Maryland Health Insurance Exchange - Proposed Carriers 

According to Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, the following 13 carriers (representing 23 licensed entities) submitted business agreements to offer plans through Maryland's Health Insurance Exchange:
  1. Aetna (Aetna Life Insurance Co., Aetna Health Inc.) - QHPs

  2. BEST Life and Health Insurance Co. - Dental

  3. CareFirst (CareFirst of Maryland Inc., CareFirst BlueChoice Inc., Group Hospitalization and Medical Services Inc.) - QHPs

  4. Coventry (Coventry Health and Life Insurance, Coventry Healthcare of Delaware Inc.) - QHPs

  5. Delta (Delta Dental of Pennsylvania, Alpha Dental Programs Inc.) - Dental

  6. DentaQuest Mid-Atlantic Inc. - Dental

  7. Dominion Dental Services Inc. - Dental

  8. Evergreen Health Cooperative Inc. - QHPs

  9. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America - Dental

  10. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic - QHPs

  11. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. - Dental

  12. United Concordia (United Concordia Dental Plans Inc., United Concordia Life and Health Insurance Co.) - Dental

  13. UnitedHealthcare (MAMSI Life and Health Insurance, UnitedHealthcare Insurance Co., Optimum Choice Inc., All Savers Insurance Co., UnitedHealthcare of the Mid-Atlantic Inc.) - QHPs

All plans will be reviewed by the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA), and then certified by the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. Plans are expected to be finalized by August 2013. 

Click here to read Maryland Health Benefit Exchange's press release.

Maryland Health Insurance Exchange - Proposed Rates

According to MIA, the rates vary among carriers. The plans will be offered by level of coverage for essential health benefits (EHB), to allow consumers to compare plans on an "apples to apples" basis. The four "metal" levels are: Bronze (plan pays 60%), Silver (plan pays 70%), Gold (plan pays 80%) and Platinum (plan pays 90%).

According an article by Kaiser Health News (KHN), CareFirst, who owns approximately 70% of the individual insurance market in Maryland, expects rates to rise 15% from current rates. On the small group market, KHN said that Aetna expected rate increased between 12-16% and United proposed average increases from 15-28%. (See KHN article.)

While rate increases are expected, advocates of federal health care reform note the rates will be offset by individual premium tax subsidies.  

Click here to view all of the MIA rate filings.