Medical health insurance premiums for Maine small businesses to say no in 2023

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Maine’s small businesses will see a discount in medical insurance premiums in 2023, the primary decline in premiums since no less than 2001, in keeping with a news release.

A review of rates filed with the Maine Bureau of Insurance for Reasonably priced Care Act coverage and off-market plans show premiums for the small group market, which incorporates businesses with 50 or fewer employees, will decline by 0.8 percent. Other states within the Northeast are experiencing increases within the small group market, including 11.5 percent in Rhode Island, a variety of 11.7 to 18.3 percent in Vermont, 14.8 percent in Connecticut and seven.9 percent in Recent York.

Gov. Janet Mills, in a press release on Wednesday, credited a reform that combined the small group and individual markets with lowering the premiums for small businesses.

“Due to the law I proposed and signed, we’re reversing the trend of steadily increasing medical insurance costs for a lot of small businesses for the primary time since no less than 2001. This can be a victory for a lot of Maine small businesses and their hard-working employees who depend on the small group marketplace for medical insurance, and it couldn’t come at a greater time,” Mills said in a press release. “As Maine small businesses grapple with high costs from inflation, that is one less thing they may must worry about.”

The Maine individual market will increase by 11.4 percent in 2023, down from initial estimates of 14.7 percent increases. Individual plans are sold through the ACA marketplace, while small group plans are sold off-market. Individual plans can be available for purchase starting Nov. 1 at www.coverME.gov.

The Made for Maine Health Coverage Act – signed into law in 2020 – combined the small group and individual markets and prolonged a reform originally enacted under former Gov. Paul LePage – the Maine Guaranteed Access Reinsurance Association – to the small group market. Mills is running for re-election against LePage this yr.

The reforms needed to be approved by the federal government, and were approved in July 2022.

In line with the Mills administration, small group rates would have increased by 12 percent without the reforms becoming law and being approved by the Biden administration.

“The adjusted premium rates are very encouraging, and show the positive impact of the merged market, particularly for the small group market, which has seen a trend of enormous increases over the past several years,” said Timothy Scott, acting superintendent for the Maine Bureau of Insurance.

State Sen. Heather Sanborn, D-Portland, said that by “merging the person and small group medical insurance markets, we sought to cut back premiums for people insured through their small business employer, make it easier for small businesses to supply insurance and stabilize the market.”

This story can be updated.

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