We worked hard in the 2016 General Assembly Session to address the need to ensure that insurance carriers’ provider networks are adequate based upon clear quantitative standards. We are grateful that Governor Hogan signed HB1318.
The Maryland Insurance Administration held a series of public hearings on network adequacy regulations in 2016. Consumer Health First and advocates testified on the importance of quantitative standards to ensure that insurance carriers' networks meet the needs of all their clients and particularly those most impacted by health disparities.
Below is a timeline for the work to develop the actual Network Adequacy Regulations.
- August 2016, we submitted preliminary comments as to proposed standards.
- November 2016, we hosted a webinar to discuss the bill and our comments.. You can can listen to the live recording here, and download the slide presentation here.
- Later in November, we submitted more comprehensive comments which included signatures from 47 organizations and 2 individuals.
- February 2017, we submitted specific recommendations for inclusion in the standards being developed.
- April 2017, the Maryland Insurance Administration released the Draft Regulations for comment.
- May 2017, we submitted our final comments on the proposed regulations.
Be sure to read our Network Adequacy Report which looked at the accessibility of OBGYN providers available through the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. The report found that of the 1,493 providers listed, only 22.5% were able to provide a well woman exam within four weeks. You should also take a look at the network adequacy study which looked at access to mental health providers performed by the Mental Health Association of Maryland. These studies were critical in getting SB929/HB1318 - Health Benefit Plans - Network Access Standards and Provider Network Directories introduced and PASSED! We provided testimony in support of this legislation in both the Senate Finance and House Health and Government Operations (HGO) Committees.