The cost of health insurance plans offered under the Affordable Care Act will jump 20 percent or more next year under rates to be announced today by
The CEO of
"We regret that such rate increases are needed," said
The company projects that its total losses since the law went into effect will amount to
The losses came even as high deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses have made health plans too expensive for many Marylanders, said Burrell, who said he still supports the law's expansion of health care coverage.
His remarks came as the
The rate increases sparked criticism from consumers and advocacy groups, but Burrell said they were needed to help stave off projected losses.
"People are just sicker and using more services, and the rates didn't reflect that," he said. "We filed with the goal of breaking even and just covering the costs. We are not making any money at it."
The advocacy group Consumer Health First said the new rates are too high and questioned whether
"We are worried that these rates are going to make it even more unaffordable and in fact make a bad situation even worse, because we know already consumers can't afford the rates, and now they're going up further," said
The exchange also needs to do a better job educating people about the federal subsidies they can get to help offset insurance costs, she said.
"The program is really still in its infancy, relatively speaking," Quattrocki said. "While there could be adjustments, we have to look at what is achieved. The gains in the past three years are just substantial."
The insurance administration in most cases issued lower rates than what the insurers requested.
The insurance administration also released rates today for the small-group market, where rates will increase less than on the individual market and in some cases decline.