State regulator shoots down insurer’s request to change ACA plans

Company said that a competitor’s proposed plans might lure customers away

State regulator shoots down insurer’s request to change ACA plans

Life & Health

By Ryan Smith

Maine’s top insurance regulator has denied an insurance company’s request to adjust its Obamacare offerings for next year.

Maine Superintendent Eric Cioppa denied the last-minute request from Maine Community Health Options. Community Health had said that new, low-cost “silver” Affordable Care Act plans, offered by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, could lure policyholders away. Community Health wanted to make a similar offering.

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But Cioppa said the insurer missed the deadline – July 14 – to make adjustments to its rate request, according to a report by the Portland Press-Herald.

Community Health is the state’s largest ACA insurer with about 35,000 policyholders – about 40% of the market, according to the Press-Herald. The company said that it didn’t expect regulators to accept Anthem’s low-cost plans, but it wanted a chance to change its offerings in the event the plans were accepted.

ACA plans are ranked bronze, silver, gold and platinum, depending on the level of coverage. Community Health President and CEO Kevin Lewis said that one new category of silver plans proposed by Anthem was “a bronze-level plan that is masquerading as a silver-level plan.” The new Anthem plans would be 8% to 12% cheaper than Community Health’s least-expensive plans, the Press-Herald reported.

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