Report highlights problems created by health insurance reform
Consumers for Affordable Health Care, a non-profit advocacy organization based in Maine, has released a new report concerning the health insurance overhaul that was passed in the state last year. The law brought significant health insurance reforms to the state that were well received by residents. The report suggests, however, that the health insurance overhaul is not accomplishing its goals and may be doing more harm than good. The report is based on information from the Main Bureau of Insurance.
Law aims to reduce cost of health insurance coverage
Last year, state lawmakers passed a health insurance law aimed to lower the cost of coverage for consumers. In order to do this, consumers that represent a high risk are put into a special category, with every other policyholder being charged a $4 tax to offset the financial burden of their less healthy counterparts. The idea was that the taxation and categorization of policyholders would create a trend in the insurance market that would lead to lower prices on coverage. The report from Consumers for Affordable Health Care suggests that the law has failed in its endeavor.
Report shows majority of consumers are seeing rates rise
According to the report, approximately 54% of individual policyholders in Maine have seen their premiums for health insurance coverage rise since last year. This is along with 90% of small businesses reporting that they too have seen an increase in rates. The report also highlights problems associated with the $4 tax that many consumers are paying because of the health insurance law.
Supporters argue that law must be fully implemented before conclusions can be drawn
Supporters of the law claim that it is working as intended and note that it has not yet been fully implemented. One provision, in particular, is not scheduled to take effect until next year, but could help consumers find affordable coverage. This provision will allow Maine residents to cfrom out of state. While consumers may find affordable policies in other markets, these out-of-state policies may conflict with Maine’s health insurance regulations, creating further problems for consumers.