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Maryland seeks to save struggling Obamacare exchange

Posted: February 23, 2018


To help steady its struggling Obamacare health insurance exchange, Maryland is considering steps some other states have taken to stabilize insurance markets: revive a sort of insurance for insurers.

State lawmakers held hearings on a variety of health care proposals on Wednesday, including one that calls for what’s known as reinsurance, which protects insurers against very high claims. Sen. Thomas Middleton, a Democrat who is sponsoring the bill, said his measure would create a Band-Aid to secure the individual market this year to keep rates down and lay the groundwork for a long-time solution.

Lawmakers are grappling with serious concerns surrounding the state’s health care exchange after CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield raised rates an average of about 50 percent for plans bought by individuals on the exchange, which is a marketplace for individuals and small businesses to buy health care. Only two health insurance carriers participate in Maryland’s health exchange, CareFirst and Kaiser Permanente. That’s down from a high of eight carriers in 2015.

“We’re looking this year at stabilizing the exchange, because as you know if we don’t do something it’s going to blow completely up,” Middleton said in an interview, as reported by the Washington Post.

Read the full story at the Washington Post: Maryland ponders ways to stabilize health insurance markets – The Washington Post

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