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Maine Senate Passes Health Insurance Overhaul Bill

Among the latest healthcare reform news making recent headlines is the health insurance overhaul bill that was passed by the Maine Senate earlier this week. The bill allows more interstate purchases and subsidies for the chronically ill and those with pre-existing conditions, funded by a tax on premiums of up to $4 per person per month for most Maine policyholders.

Following a weekend spent cooling off after a heated debate between majority Republicans (who support the bill) and Democrats (who claim it is being rushed through), Republicans picked up three Democrat votes for a 24-10 vote on Monday (May 16). Democrats were eventually swayed by amendments targeted at keeping rates from climbing disproportionately in rural areas and not forcing people to travel far for care.

According to an April 2009 report to the Legislature by an advisory council of doctors, insurers, and public health professionals, premiums paid by employers in Maine are comparable to the rest of New England—but higher than the overall U.S. average.
Beginning in 2014, Maine residents buying individual insurance—not through employers—could buy policies from companies based in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Stay tuned to learn more about the Maine bill and other issues related to medical billing in Las Vegas!

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