The Maryland Chamber yesterday offered its views on how Maryland’s health insurance markets should be redesigned as a result of the new federal health care law. I testified before a workgroup of the Governor’s Health Care Reform Coordinating Council. I told them that, If we are to sustain an employer-based health insurance system, Maryland employers must be allowed choices among health insurance carriers, options for designing their health insurance benefit plans, and mechanisms to control costs. The Chamber called for:
- Creation of a Health Insurance Exchange as a self-sustaining, nonprofit entity, providing health insurance information to individuals and small employers, and governed by a Board of Directors with substantial employer representation.
- Maintaining a private insurance market to compete with the Exchange.
- Creation of separate risk pools in the Exchange for individuals and small businesses, to avoid inflating small group costs.
- Maintaining the small group employer size at 2-50 employees for the period January 1, 2014 to January 1, 2016, in order to avoid prematurely forcing employers with 51-100 employees into the restrictive small group market.