BALTIMORE (APRIL 20, 2018) – The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange (MHBE), in conjunction with the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA), will hold a series of hearings to receive public comment to shape Maryland’s application to the federal government for a reinsurance program. The purpose of the program is to hold down consumer cost and bring greater certainty to Maryland’s individual market for health insurance for 2019 and 2020.

Governor Larry Hogan and the Maryland General Assembly approved legislation to create a reinsurance program for the individual health insurance market beginning in 2019. The state plans to raise about $365 million through a 2.75% premium surcharge on insurance carriers. Maryland may receive additional “pass through” dollars from the federal government. Total funding for the program is projected at $462 million. If approved, the reinsurance program will hold down premium increases for plans purchased in the individual health insurance market both on and off Maryland Health Connection, the state-based marketplace.

The MHBE Board of Trustees votedon Mondayto authorize MHBE to apply to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to request approval for an “innovation waiver” to create the reinsurance program under Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act. States are required to post applications for public comment for a minimum of 30 days. Maryland-recognized tribes are encouraged to provide comment during the 30-day period.

Maryland’s draft of its 1332 State Innovation Waiver Application for a State Reinsurance Program can be viewed atMarylandHBE.com.

Four public hearings will be held on:

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About the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange:The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, a public corporation and independent unit of state government, administers Maryland Health Connection.Including more than 1 million people enrolled in Medicaid, MHBE enrolls one of every six Marylanders in health coverage.

About Maryland Health Connection: Maryland Health Connection is the state’s official health insurance marketplace for individuals and families to compare and enroll in health insurance. Maryland Health Connection is the only place where Marylanders can access tax credits to make coverage more affordable. People who have lost coverage and meet the criteria for a special enrollment can also enroll throughout the year atMarylandHealthConnection.govor on theEnroll MHCmobile app.