Maryland Insurance Official Approves Health Care Rates

Maryland's insurance commissioner has approved rates for health plans that will be sold in the individual market under the health care overhaul.

The commissioner announced the rates on Friday.

They will be sold through the state's health exchange starting Oct. 1 for coverage beginning Jan. 1.

State officials say Maryland's rates are among the lowest of the 12 states that have either proposed or approved rates. The Maryland Insurance Administration used its rate review authority to reduce proposed rates.

For example, a state analysis says premium rate increases proposed by CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield were reduced by 50 percent or more.

The analysis also estimates that three out of four Maryland residents will be eligible for tax credits to reduce the cost of coverage.

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