BALTIMORE, July 28 (UPI) -- Those in Maryland who buy their own health insurance rather than rely on an employer or government will see premiums drop by a third, a state official says.
Therese M. Goldsmith, Maryland's insurance commissioner, said premium rates for individual health insurance plans sold through Maryland's new health benefit exchange, Maryland Health Connection, beginning Oct. 1, would decline about 33 percent.
For example, options for a 21-year-old non-smoker start as low as $93 a month.
"Consumers will find a wide variety of plans available through Maryland Health Connection," Goldsmith said in a statement. "Over the last few months, actuaries, analysts and policy form experts meticulously evaluated hundreds of plan designs and their corresponding rate filings for plans to be sold on Maryland Health Connection," at http://www.marylandhealthconnection.gov/.
Exchange plans are categorized as bronze, silver, gold or platinum based on how costs are shared. For example, bronze plans are likely to have lower premiums but higher out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance, Goldsmith said.
In addition, high deductible "catastrophic plans" are available for young adults age 30 and younger and other qualifying individuals. All plans provide coverage for the same set of essential health benefits.
The Maryland carriers are: Aetna Life Insurance; All Savers Insurance Co.; CareFirst BlueChoice Inc.; CareFirst of Maryland Inc.; Coventry Health and Life Insurance Co.; Coventry Health Care of Delaware; Evergreen Health Cooperative Inc.; Group Hospitalization and Medical Services Inc.; and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States Inc.