Maryland demands lower insurance rates; Aetna says sayonara to the state’s insurance exchange
posted at 2:01 pm on August 4, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
Much like California, the state of Maryland has been almost ostentatiously gung-ho about the implementation of the Patient “Protection” and “Affordable” Care Act. Also like California, Maryland is encountering some most unfortunate problems the likes of which only they and their fellow esteemed Democrats seem not to have seen coming.
For instance: Maryland would really very much appreciate it if the insurance companies operating in their state could offer rates that the state arbitrarily deems to be affordable and attractive offers, the better to lure potential participants into the state’s ObamaCare exchanges. Insurance companies, meanwhile, would really like it if they could avoid operating at a loss. It’s selfish, really.
Aetna Inc pulled out of Maryland’s health insurance exchange being created under President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law after the state pressed it to lower its proposed rates by up to 29 percent. …
In an August 1 letter sent to the Maryland Department of Insurance, Aetna said the state’s requirement for rate reductions off its proposed prices would lead it to operate at a loss. The rate reductions include products from Aetna and Coventry Health Care, which it bought this spring.
“Unfortunately, we believe the modifications to the rates filed by Aetna and Coventry would not allow us to collect enough premiums to cover the cost of the plans, including the medical network and service expectations of our customers,” Aetna said in the letter to insurance commissioner Therese Goldsmith.
According to online documents, Aetna had requested an average monthly premium of $394 a month for one of its plans and the agency had approved an average rate of $281 per month.
And it was just the other day that ObamaCare’s supporters were touting Maryland’s lower rates as proof of the health care overhaul’s success.
Economics are hard.