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Local healthcare prices skyrocket as Trump tries to kill ACA

MIA logoMarylanders getting “Silver” plans from the state’s online health insurance exchange face a second round of premium hikes for 2018 following President Donald Trump’s Oct. 12 order stopping federal payments to health insurers to fund discounts for moderate-income patients.

For a few people, the new rates will be 76 percent more than 2017 levels.

The Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) Wednesday approved emergency rate increases for CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic, the state’s only two carriers serving the online exchange market for individual coverage. The emergency stemmed from the narrowness of the time frame between Trump’s action and when the annual “open season” begins for buying coverage on the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange on Nov. 1. Silver plans generally provide a middle level of coverage for mid-range monthly premiums.

Despite the large rate hikes from 2017 to 2018, Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer Jr. explained in an Oct. 23 telephone press conference that few people will pay the increases from their own funds. Most people to be charged the higher premiums will have the increases offset – completely or in large part – by higher tax credits, he said.

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'Fake News' is well established in real estate

for-sale-sign-outside-house

“Fake news” is the cause du-jour that has energized many into a movement to stop the spreading of falsehoods. Ironically, the crusaders who point their finger at alleged sources of fake news may also be guilty of promoting it. Fake news accusations are sometimes used to promote misinformation and half-truths. Unfortunately, fake news has become a meme that is becoming trite and meaningless. The promotion of fake news may be found throughout history, but it is certainly well established in the real estate industry.

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Home prices rising across the country

house real estateIn case you haven’t been following along closely, the March 3rd release of CoreLogic’s Home Price Index (corelogic.com) indicated that nationwide home prices increased 5.7 percent during January compared to the same period last year; and there was a 1.1 percent increase during January compared to December. 

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