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More coverage options will be available in 2015 and average rate increases over 2014 will be relatively modest or nonexistent for many policyholders, based on preliminary information from the insurers.
Insurers recently filed their proposed rates and plans for next year. The state and federal review process will take several months and approved rates may not be known until later this summer.
Actual rates charged a small business group will depend on the characteristics of the particular group.
Small Group Market
**Aetna-PPO is seeking an average rate increase of 7.8% with a minimum change of -8.8% and maximum change of 31.5%. Aetna will also be offering a new HMO plan in 2015.
**Anthem is seeing an average increase of 6.7% with a minimum change of -2.3% and maximum change of 16%.
**Maine Community Health Options is seeking an average decrease of -10% with a minimum change of -11% and maximum change of -4%.
**Harvard and Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare are seeking an average increase of 6.2% with a minimum change of 1.4% and maximum change of 9.9%.
**Maine Community Health Options is seeking an average increase of 0.1% with a minimum change of -3.3% and maximum change of 1.1%.
**Anthem is seeing an average increase of 3.1% with a minimum change of -8.7% and maximum change of 10.3%.
Also filing for 2015 rates in the individual market are Aetna-HMO, Harvard-HMO, and Harvard Pilgrim PPO.
Some of the proposed rates are surprisingly modest in light of changes brought about by Obamacare; however, the 2015 rates are based on only a few months of actual experience in 2014.
Maine health insurance costs are among the highest in the nation. The lowest 2014 cost silver and bronze plans for individual policies in the health exchange rank 7th highest in the nation according to the federal Department of Health & Human Services. Consumer choice of plans also ranks among the fewest.
Federal data also indicates that 89% of the policies sold to individuals in health exchanges are subsidized and that Maine ranks 5th highest for the average subsidy per individual.
More information on Obamacare and health insurance in Maine is available in a Powerpoint presentation from the state Bureau of Insurance.