Specific Areas of Legislative Interest
There were three legislative attempts to completely repeal (but not replace) the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) last year - all of which failed. To address the challenges created by these efforts we launched the Health Care. Keep It! campaign and produced fact sheets to demonstrate the devastating effect repeal of the ACA would have on Marylanders. Unfortunately, other efforts to "kill" the ACA were successful, such as the weakening of the individual mandate in the new tax law and multiple changes to regulations. Also, it is clear that efforts to undermine the law at the Federal level will persist unabated in 2018. Therefore, Consumer Health First will continue its proactive efforts to preserve the current access, coverage and health equity measures that Maryland has achieved to date.
- Key Strategy: To propose, review and support legislation to address the issue of affordability of health insurance for consumers and the stabilization of the individual insurance market.
Throughout 2017, Consumer Health First worked with the Maryland Insurance Administration and other policy and advocacy organizations to secure quantitative and qualitative standards for network adequacy that are now among the strongest in the nation. The new regulations will be applied to the 2019 insurance plans and will be seen in the carriers' 2018 rate filings.
- Key Strategy: To analyze the filings to ensure compliance with the regulations and to conduct surveys to determine the efficacy of their application.
In May 2018, insurance carriers will submit their rate requests for 2019 plans to the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA).
- Key Strategy: To secure passage of legislation to provide the Insurance Commissioner with new tools for the rate review process.
- Key Strategy: To analyze the proposed rates, engage other policy and advocacy organization, and provide testimony to the MIA to support fair and equitable insurance premiums
As of January 1, 2018, Maryland awaits approval from the Center on Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) of its Total Cost of Care and Primary Care Models. These are an important expansion of the current All-Payer Model contract which ends in 2019.
- Key Strategy: To support legislation required to implement the new Model
- Key Strategy: To continue to participate in all efforts to expand consumer engagement on an individual and policy level.