Tag: insurance

Maryland Lawmakers Should Seize the Opportunity to Protect Health Care Choice

As we embark on the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic—albeit with vaccine distribution underway—demand for health care and the financial support many need to help pay for treatment has become a hot topic. Fortunately, this month the Maryland Senate will consider a positive piece of legislation that would protect the right for Marylanders to choose a Health Care Sharing Ministry to manage their health care expenses.

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Maryland bucks nationwide trend on child-only insurance policies

Successful negotiation helped Maryland keep two health insurance companies — CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic — writing policies that cover children, though most of their counterparts nationwide have stopped.

Many of the nation’s insurers dropped child-only plans in September, when a provision of the new federal health care reform law took effect that bars them from rejecting children with preexisting medical conditions. Many states, including Maryland, do not have laws requiring the option of child-only policies.

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New Maryland group looks at forming non-profit health insurance co-op

A new statewide group is trying to form a new insurance co-op to provide coverage for people who will be required to have it under the new federal law, but cannot afford it.

The Maryland Nonprofit Health Insurance Co-op is working on a year-long feasibility study to see if it will be able to start its own insurance carrier for those who cannot afford even the cheapest insurance. The proposed co-op would target adults between 19 and 64 living in the state’s I-95 corridor.

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CareFirst conducted similar study

In 2008, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield began its own two-year patient-centered pilot program, involving 11 primary care practices and 45,000 CareFirst members in Maryland, DC and Virginia.

CareFirst will launch a full-scale program in January based on the findings from the program.

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State health commission hopes pilot program brings quality care, lower costs

The Maryland Health Care Commission recently launched an experiment that could change the way patients receive health care, increase reimbursements to physicians, and generate cost savings for insurance companies.

The commission, which is an an independent regulatory agency, is studying how to improve quality of health care by utilizing primary care physicians through its Patient Centered Medical Home pilot program. Study results will help model future state health care plans.

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Narrow benefits bills raise issue of costs, equity

Some senators are questioning bills narrowly tailored to secure insurance and pension benefits to a small number of constituents with unusual circumstances.

The Senate passed measures last week preventing pension allowances from going down and allowing surviving family members to cash in on disability benefits in the case of a person dying before the state is able to process the application.

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