Q: What changes have been made to the Maryland Health Insurance market for the coming cycle?
A: There have been major changes affecting most policies in Maryland with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Large Group plans, groups of 51+ employees, are far more competitive this year than in previous years. Carriers are more aggressive in this market. Some Large Group plans had little increase while others had no increase. Businesses with Large Group plans should definitely work with a qualified broker this year to determine the best options available.
Q: What is the biggest change for a Group plan for 2-50 employees?
A: For December 2014 and into 2015, the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) has approved composite average age rating again, as long as you elect one plan type with a carrier. This should make the administration a little easier unless you want more than one plan offering. In addition, self-funded plans are making their way into this market for numerous reasons, including affordability and tier structure blended rating.
Q: What should we know about the Individual Marketplace and off the Exchange Individual plans?
A: The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange has initiated new software using the State of Connecticut’s software to enroll in the program with a Jan. 1, 2015 effective date. It is really important that any Maryland residents with an individual plan that includes a subsidy program re-enroll during open enrollment, which begins Nov. 15, 2014. If you are a MD resident enrolled off the Exchange in a policy you will not be subject to the re-enrollment, however you can shop the policy if the renewal is unfavorable with other carriers at this time. I95