Wide variance projected for 2015 health premium changes

Wide variance projected for 2015 health premium changes

CareFirst, Marylandês biggest health care insurer, has filed a request with the state Insurance Commission to hike premiums for individual plans by 23 percent to 30 percent. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Evergreen Health Cooperative have proposed dropping their rates by 12 percent and 10 percent, respectively, for individuals getting coverage through the state exchange. In Virginia, the proposed rate increases range from 3.3 percent to 14.9 percent.

As the Affordable Care Act continues to roll out across the country, insurance companies in each state propose rates that must be approved by the state insurance commission. Last year, CareFirst requested a 25 percent increase in Maryland, but was permitted only 15 percent. Analysts said Marylandês 2014 rates are comparatively low, according to the Washington Post. Marylandês health secretary, Joshua Sharfstein, attributes this to competition among insurers, the Post reports.

CareFirstês proposed rate increases for 2015 were also on the high end in Virginia, at 14.9 percent. Kaiser has requested rate increases of 3.3 percent in Virginia. WellPoint Inc. anticipates an average 8.5 percent increase across Anthem HealthKeepers Inc., with individual plans offered in Virginia, ranging from 0.5 percent to 16.6 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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