Is Maine Leading the Way on Health Care?

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The Commonwealth is currently debating greater government intervention in our health care system with payment reform legislation. Maine is moving in the opposite direction.

This press release was just put out by the think tank Maine Heritage Policy Center.

Unprecedented: Rates for health insurance plans to drop as much as 60%

PORTLAND – Rates for individual health care plans in Maine will drop as much as 60% in July as a result of health reform law PL 90, the free-market health insurance reform bill passed by the legislature last year. The Maine Heritage Policy Center was a key advocate of the bill.

Information contained in Anthem’s most recent rate proposal indicates substantial positive results from the law’s passage. After years of double-digit rate increases, the overall increase in this latest filing was only 1.7%.  But digging deeper, the impact on individuals opting for newly-offered products is astounding.

Young people are big winners: 19- to 24-year-olds will be able to buy a health insurance plan with a $2,000 deductible for about $200 per month—a substantial reduction compared to the current cost of $450.

A 19- to 24-year-old with a deductible of $10,000 would pay just $100 a month—less than a typical iPhone plan.

Anthem’s new plan, Healthchoice Plus, offers dramatic savings. The plan features a lower deductible ($2,000 vs $2,250) and includes mental health coverage, not offered in Anthem’s previous Healthchoice product. Despite the lower deductible and additional coverage, premiums for the new product are far lower – from 28% lower for policyholders 60 and older to 52% lower for those aged 19 to 24.

During the debate over the health reform law last year, left-wing advocacy groups and editorial writers were sharply critical of the free market proposal. In a Bangor Daily News editorial titled “Rushed insurance reform is wrong medicine”, the paper called the new law “flawed and unstudied.”


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