BALTIMORE — Premium costs for plans sold on Maryland’s health exchanges are set to rise as state regulators approve increased rates.

The Baltimore Sun reports regulators announced average rate increases ranging between about 23 percent to nearly 50 percent Tuesday. The rates will vary depending on the plan and carrier.

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield CEO Chet Burrell says the rapid rise in premiums puts coverage out of reach for many, especially those who don’t qualify for federal subsidies. According to health exchange figures, about 78 percent of enrollees qualify for premium subsidies and nearly 56 percent receive aid to lower out-of-pocket expenses.

Advocacy groups have asked state leaders to consider several efforts to reduce premiums, including developing a reinsurance program for the most expensive enrollees and requiring everyone to buy insurance in the state.

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