A day after the Department of Health and Human Services granted more than a hundred waivers to health insurance minimum benefit requirements, the HHS has granted the State of Maine a waiver to another major healthcare reform health insurance requirement. The waiver gives the State of Maine a three-year exemption from the requirement which requires health insurers to spend at least 80 cents of each dollar in health insurance premiums on patient medical care. Health insurers in Maine will only be required to spend 65 cents of each dollar in health insurance premiums on patient medical care.
The spending requirement “has a reasonable likelihood of destabilizing the Maine individual health insurance market,” wrote Steve Larsen, deputy administrator of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. Maine Insurance Commissioner Mila Kofman requested the exemption from the 80 percent rule after HealthMarkets Inc. threatened to stop selling individual policies in Maine. The company is 77 percent-owned by funds run by Blackstone Group LP (BX) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) Its subsidiary, MegaLife and Health Insurance Co., controls about 37 percent of the Maine market for individual insurance coverage, according to Larsen’s letter.
Maine is the first state to be granted an exemption from the health insurance premium spending requirement, but Kentucky, Nevada and New Hampshire have also applied for changes to the rule. The federal government is reviewing those applications.
Do you think the federal government should be granting waivers to healthcare reform? Tell us about it!
- Healthcare Reform: Free and Discounted Healthcare Now a Requirement for Hospital Tax-Exempt Status
- Healthcare Reform: Small Businesses and Health Insurance; Will Healthcare Reform Drive Me Out of Business?
- Healthcare Reform News: Arizona Cleared to Cut 280,000 From Medicaid Rolls; 4 States Get Waivers from Healthcare Reform
- Healthcare Reform: Are Health Insurance Premiums Going Up Because of Healthcare Reform?
- Healthcare Reform: United Healthcare and Humana Join Wellpoint (Anthem Blue Cross) in Extending Health Insurance to Adult Children