From Friends of David R. Craig:
Harford County Executive and candidate for Governor David R. Craig announced today that Marylanders can expect a dramatic increase in health care insurance premiums under Obamacare, calling it a “massive new tax.” Maryland’s least expensive Obamacare plan will be 83% higher than the lowest-cost plan sold in the state this year. The analysis comes from a Government Accountability Office report that compares rates this year to what the Maryland Insurance Administration announced they will be under the new state exchange scheduled to launch October 1.
The state’s insurance agency locked down rates with private carriers last month and the new exchange for individuals is marketed as the “Maryland Health Connection.”
“What we have here is Maryland’s health disconnection,” said Craig. “This entire contraption will fall apart unless untold thousands of healthy people inexplicably decide to go online and buy expensive insurance instead of making a car payment. Private insurance carriers are not participating and not enough healthy, working people will either, and this is not going to work.”
The Maryland Insurance Administration and the GAO analyze similar policies available to similar age groups. A young person buying exchange insurance under the so-called “bronze plan” will pay $1368 in annual premiums, according to the state agency. Yet this year, according to the federal GAO, that person pays just $744 in annual premiums, an 83% difference.
“People are struggling with the worst economic recovery in our lifetimes, have faced down record tax, fee and toll increases, and now they are forced to pay 83% higher insurance costs,” said Craig. “This is a massive health care tax politicians are attempting to brand as something else, and they are forcing people to buy it.”
The dramatic premium spike comes on the heels of the announcement that Aetna canceled plans to sell insurance on the exchange after state regulators drastically cut the rates it could charge consumers for its plans. Aetna, the nation’s third largest health care insurance company as measured in terms of membership, acquired Bethesda-based Coventry Health Care this year.
“It is deeply troubling that Maryland has yet again soured relations with major employers and job creators. Another company acquires one of Maryland’s last remaining Fortune 500 companies and takes their business elsewhere because regulators tell them what to charge. This irony is lost only on the one-party political machine in Annapolis.”
Craig said this is only the beginning of the unraveling of Obamacare.
“These are only the initial, visible cracks in the foundation of the health care law, which like other federal public policy experiments, Maryland rushes into without conducting due diligence,” said Craig. “I’m concerned about the cracks we don’t see yet.”