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The Chesapeake State has seen one of the biggest increases in insured rating in the country, the third largest, to be exact. Read on to find out more about this as well as other crucial changes you should know about its health insurance sector.

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How your state fares in health rankings

Although insurers prioritize your health and lifestyle when calculating rates, they also factor in the overall health performance of your state. In other words, the healthier the residents prove they are, the greater the chances for better premiums everyone gets.

In the 2015 Commonwealth Fund’s Scorecard on State Health System Performance, the state was in the top 20, ranking 18th of 51. Its best performance was for the indicator “Access,” wherein it received a quintile score of 1. It did pretty well for the categories “Prevention & Treatment,” “Healthy Lives,” and “Equity.” Its poorest performance was for “Avoidable Hospital Use & Costs,” where it scored quintile 4 and ranked 42nd.

Here are some of the key findings of the study under “Healthy Lives:”

  • Mortality amenable to healthcare: 89 out of 100,000 people

  • Breast cancer fatalities: 21.5 out of 100,000 women

  • Percentage of adult smokers: 14%

  • Adult obesity: 30%

  • Obesity in children aged 10-17: 32%

The following are statistical comparisons in the “Access” category:

  • 11% of adults (19 to 64 years old) don’t have insurance, compared with the national average of 15%

  • 4% of children (infants to 18 years old) are uninsured, as opposed to the countrywide average of 6%

  • 10% of the adult population chose not to obtain insurance due to the high costs associated with it

  • 1% of adults had expensive out-of-pocket medical bills

First things first: The rate increase in the state

All of the 50 states now have rates higher than last year. In Maryland, one of the lowest hikes is just at 8%, more than 3 times lower than the national average of 25%. All in all though, the rate increases average at around 18.2%.

Just because you know you’ll pay higher towards your coverage doesn’t mean you no longer have to double check it. Yes, almost, if not everyone will see premium increases. Actually, this is all the more reason for you to educate yourself on this topic, since this’ll help you gauge your options.

As of the time of this writing, there is no available data on the 2017 premium averages of consumers in the state. However, just so you can have some idea, take a look at these 2016 monthly benchmark silver premiums that 40-year-old non-smokers with an annual salary of $30,000 in Baltimore paid for in 2016, and then apply the latest average rate increase.

  • Second-lowest silver before tax credit (from $235 in 2015): $246

  • Second-lowest silver after (no change from 2015): $208

The big break in the state’s uninsured rating

How high or low your premiums are, after factoring in the rate increase, depends on many different variables. Where you live is one of them. Always keep in mind that insurers take into careful consideration the population of uninsured residents when determining rates, which dictate how much a person will pay toward coverage.

And you have none other than the state to thank for the lower than national average rate increase that insurance companies will charge you with, seeing as its uninsured rating has dropped significantly over the years. According to a recent U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Maryland, with an estimated population of 6,006,401 (2015, latest data1), had a 4.7% drop in its uninsured rating in 2015. Back in 2010, this was at 11.3%.

Explore your options

Although the enrolment is now over, you can still obtain coverage through private insurance companies. Before you settle for a plan though, make sure you’ve exhausted all your options first. This way, you can rest assure that the provider you’ll work with really does offer not just the most affordable coverage, but also the most suitable for your needs.

References:

https://www.healthinsurance.org/maryland/

http://datacenter.commonwealthfund.org/scorecard/state/2/alabama/

https://aspe.hhs.gov/compilation-state-data-affordable-care-act

1Latest data: The U.S. census is conducted every 10 years as per requirement of the United States Constitution. The 23rd edition and the latest data is the 2010 United States Census. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_Census
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