CareFirst Files Rate Proposals for 2015
with Maryland Insurance Administration
Baltimore, MD (June 06, 2014) - CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) has filed proposed premium rates with the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) for Affordable Care Act-compliant products to be offered for sale on Maryland’s health exchange and directly by CareFirst for coverage beginning January 1, 2015.
CareFirst premium rates for individuals are generally well below those of its competitors in 2014, and the company expects that its rates for 2015 will remain highly competitive with current market premium rates. A number of key factors went into CareFirst’s Maryland rate proposals:
Actual enrollment in the individual market reflects an older and less healthy population than CareFirst projected in its 2014 rate filing. This is the single greatest cause of increases over 2014 levels.
The costs of taxes and fees required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as well as the costs associated with complying with its major provisions (minimum essential health benefits, guaranteed coverage, elimination of restrictions on pre-existing conditions, etc.) are accounted for in the rates.
The planned year-end closure of the Maryland Health Insurance Plan (MHIP), the state’s insurance program for high-risk individuals, will lead many in this program to seek coverage under ACA plans.
In response to the MIA’s rate posting today, CareFirst President and CEO Chet Burrell said: “It is impossible to understand from the consumers’ point of view what they will pay without knowing how the actual premium rates compare. It is unfortunate that this information has not been made available by the MIA."
“We believe when rates are compared, CareFirst’s rates will be competitive and consumers will better understand what their actual choices are,” Burrell added. “We urge the commissioner to provide this information as intended under the Affordable Care Act."
“As a not-for-profit, our rates reflect the cost of care and little else. Our mission is to make coverage as accessible and affordable as possible, and out proposed rates reflect that goal.”
About CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
In its 77th year of service, CareFirst, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit health care company which, through its affiliates and subsidiaries, offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to 3.4 million individuals and groups in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia. In 2013, CareFirst contributed nearly $57 million to community programs designed to increase the accessibility, affordability, safety and quality of health care throughout its market areas. To learn more about CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, visit our website at www.carefirst.com or follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/CareFirst_News.