Statement on Maryland Insurance Administration Affordable Care Act Rate Approvals

The following is a statement from CareFirst President & CEO Chet Burrell

Baltimore, MD (August 29, 2017) - “We have reached the point where individual health care premium rates are too high to be readily affordable by the general public. The rapid rise in these premiums puts coverage out of reach for many – especially those who do not qualify for federal subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Premiums reflect the high costs associated with those seeking coverage. This is certainly true for those who have coverage with CareFirst.

“At the same time, CareFirst has experienced enormous financial losses over the past 4 years ($500 million) in providing coverage to individual subscribers who clearly need and deserve the coverage. Such financial losses due to inadequate premium rates – despite being as high as they are – are simply not sustainable.

“As a not-for-profit carrier, CareFirst seeks only to cover the cost of providing healthcare coverage for its individual subscribers and does not seek profit on such policies. So far, the company has come nowhere near financial stability and believes that even with the approved 2018 rates, that financial losses will continue.

“Nevertheless, we remain strong supporters of the Affordable Care Act and believe there is much that is right in the way it is constructed. But, key elements in how it is financed must be changed by Congress and the Administration in Washington if ACA is to continue to provide access to health care for individuals who seek coverage in the commercial market. If these changes are not made in the near future, the promise of the ACA cannot be fulfilled and its sustainability will cease. We simply cannot go on with premiums that are sky high for individuals and families while financial losses to carriers occur at the same time.”

About CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield

In its 79th 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 3.2 million individuals and groups in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia. In 2016, CareFirst invested nearly $44 million to improve overall health, and 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 Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram or Google+.

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