September 14, 2018
|Contact:||Judith Watters, Consumer Outreach Specialist|
The Bureau of Insurances 2019 Individual Health Insurance Rate Calculator is now available.
The rate calculator at maine.gov/insurance makes it easy to find out which plans are available and the estimated rates for each. (The calculator does NOT apply premium subsidies. Individuals who purchase plans through the Marketplace will be able to calculate their estimated premium subsidy at healthcare.gov when that site has been updated for 2019.)
Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa stated "we wanted to make the online rate calculator for 2019 available to consumers as soon as the 2019 rates were finalized by the Bureau. The rate calculator will allow Mainers who purchase insurance in the individual market to start researching their options so they will be well-prepared for Open Enrollment on November first."
The approved rates have been submitted to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and contracts between CMS and the insurance carriers will be finalized by early October.
Superintendent Cioppa said that on average, rate increases are modest, and some rates have decreased, thanks to the re-launching of the Maine Guaranteed Access Reinsurance Association (MGARA) program for 2019, which received federal approval via a Section 1332 Innovation Waiver. The program will reduce risk for insurers, helping to keep overall rate increases lower.
In 2019, consumers will have an additional carrier to choose from with Anthem again selling plans on the Marketplace. In 2018 Anthem only sold plans "off-exchange," which does not allow the use of premium subsidies. Maine Community Health Options and Harvard Pilgrim will continue to sell plans both on and off the Marketplace in 2019.
Superintendent Cioppa urges individuals to take the following steps to prepare for Open Enrollment:
Compare all costs, not just the premiums, as well as networks, providers and drug formularies. - Look at deductibles, co-insurance, copays and maximum out of pocket amounts to determine the total cost of a plan, based on your health and anticipated use of services. - Make sure your preferred providers and medications are covered by the specific plan you are considering.
Don't wait until the last minute - start now. Open Enrollment is just six weeks - Nov 1 - Dec 15. - New plans must be purchased by December 15 to have coverage for 2019. Look at your options, ask questions, choose a plan, complete an application and (if applicable) update financial and household information at healthcare.gov soon, to avoid encountering a bottleneck as enrollment comes to a close. (Also, be sure you are on the government website, versus another one with a similar name.)
** Consumer Health Care Division ** Bureau staff members are available to answer questions Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached by dialing 1-800-300-5000 or 207-624-8475 (TTY please use Maine Relay 711). Emailed questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
** Other sources of assistance: ** Find an insurance broker or agent, a Marketplace Navigator or Assister near you at healthcare.gov. Consumers can also contact the insurers directly to ask questions about covered services, providers, medications, and cost-sharing or to purchase unsubsidized plans.
Last Updated: September 17, 2018 2:32 PM