Maryland may be able to wipe out proposed Obamacare premium increases for 2019.
The Department of Health and Human Services notified the state-run Maryland Health Benefit Exchange July 5 that its application to create a reinsurance program for 2019 through 2023 is complete, the first step to moving ahead toward the necessary federal approval.
Proposed premium increases for Maryland’s 212,000-member individual market for 2019 average 30.2 percent, but under the state’s estimates, the proposed reinsurance program “could more than wipe out the increase,” exchange chief of staff Andy Ratner told me.
Under the Maryland proposal, the state would use about $365 million in taxes levied on health plans plus about $100 million in federal savings for premium tax credit subsidies to pay 80 percent of claims between $20,000 and $250,000.
“There was a lot of concern about the impact of increases in premiums, especially for people who are outside of the financial aid eligibility window,” Ratner said.
Under the ACA, people with household incomes between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for premium tax credit subsidies.
But double-digit premium increases for 2016 and 2017, and expected 15 percent average increases across the country in 2019, are pushing many who don’t receive the subsidies, or who don’t receive enough subsidies, out of the individual market altogether.
The Department of Health and Human Services July 2 released three reports finding that “state markets are increasingly failing to cover people who do not qualify for federal subsidies even as the Exchanges remain relatively stable.”
Alaska, Minnesota, and Oregon have set up reinsurance programs to reduce high premium increases by covering high-cost claims, and other states are applying for approval under Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act. The section allows states to make changes to the law as long as they provide coverage that is as comprehensive and affordable to a comparable number of residents and don’t increase the federal deficit.
Maryland hopes to receive a final determination by the HHS by late August. ACA open enrollment for 2019 is scheduled for Nov. 1 through Dec. 15.
Read my story here.
Stay on top of new developments in health law and regulation, and learn more, by signing up for a free trial to Bloomberg Law.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)