Health care reform waiver granted to Maine
March 8, 2011
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PORTLAND, Maine—The federal government is waiving a key provision of President Barack Obama's health care law to protect Maine's fragile market for individual health insurance.
The U.S. Health and Human Services department announced Tuesday it's delaying for three years a requirement that insurers spend 80 cents to 85 cents of every premium dollar on medical care and quality improvement after one of three insurers offering individual plans in Maine threatened to withdraw from the state.
Maine is the first state to receive such a waiver.
Similar requests are pending for Nevada, Kentucky and New Hampshire.
MEGA Life and Health Insurance Co. has 37 percent of the state's individual market. Maine's insurance superintendent says MEGA would probably withdraw if it had to meet the federal standard. Maine's current standard is 65 percent.