Several insurers in Maryland and Virginia are seeking double-digit percentage increases in monthly costs for individual medical plans in 2019. The largest increases are being sought by CareFirst, which wants to nearly double the amount it charges on average for one coverage option in Maryland, and raise the cost of another in Virginia by 64 percent.
Virginia and Maryland are the first states where 2019 rate requests have been made public. Increases are anticipated across the U.S. as insurers continue to grapple with the aftermath of last year’s battle to overturn the Affordable Care Act.
Many health plans have stopped selling health coverage through the exchanges created four years ago under Obamacare. The Republican-led attempt to overturn the health law last year caused premiums to surge, as insurers expected that undoing the law’s requirement that all Americans have health insurance would leave them with a smaller and sicker pool of clients.
The repeal effort ultimately failed, but the Trump administration overturned the penalty for going without insurance, and opened the door for insurers to sell cheaper, skimpier plans.