The Maine Bureau of Insurance has scheduled two informational meetings to accept public comment on health insurance providers’ Affordable Care Act rate requests for 2019.

Maine’s two leading providers of ACA-compliant individual health insurance, Community Health Options and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, are requesting average rate increases of just over 9 percent in 2019, and smaller increases if a state-run reinsurance program is revived.

A third provider, Anthem, is requesting an average rate increase of 13.8 percent for individual plans without the reinsurance program, and a rate decrease of 8.7 percent if the reinsurance plan is reinstated.

Anthem also notified the Bureau of Insurance that it would resume offering on-exchange plans in 2019 if the reinsurance program comes back, which would give Mainers a third option for subsidized ACA individual insurance. The company offered subsidized, on-exchange ACA insurance in 2017, but opted to stop doing so in 2018.

In previous years, the bureau has held formal rate hearings to question insurance providers about their rate requests, but there will be no formal rate hearings this year because the requested rate increases all fall below a 15 percent statutory threshold.

Instead, the bureau will hold two informational public meetings, one in Bangor and the other in Portland, and also will accept public comments through Aug. 10 by mail or email.

The meetings will include information about the proposed rates and Maine’s rate review process. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and offer comments, which may be provided orally at the meetings or submitted in writing.

The meetings are scheduled as follows:

n Bangor: 5 p.m. July 24, Cross Insurance Center, Ballroom 5, 515 Main St.

n Portland: 5 p.m. July 26, University of Southern Maine’s Wishcamper Center, Lee Auditorium, 88 Bedford St.

Written comments also may be submitted via email to [email protected], or by mail to ATTN: Susan Tardiff, Maine Bureau of Insurance, 34 State House Station, Augusta ME 04333-0034.

Information about ACA rates requested by insurers for 2019 in Maine can be found by clicking on “2019 Health Insurance Rate Filings” at the top of the bureau’s home page, maine.gov/insurance.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: jcraiganderson

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