3.3.09

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Maryland Hash Out "Healthy Maryland" Universal Coverage Plan


Health types - it pays to read the local business press...

"Maryland now has two universal health care plans to cover more than 800,000 uninsured residents."

My own sweet MD next state to go for broke (literally, figuratively) with 'universal' coverage "Healthy Maryland" plan for the uninsured.

This could mean ME, if I don't move to Canada, Timbucktoo, or other points on the compass, as well as my father.

"It is unclear how businesses view Healthy Maryland, but talk within the health care industry suggests Maryland’s employers may not have to worry about it until next year. Annapolis insiders say CareFirst, Hammen and Middleton are floating the Healthy Maryland plan this year as a way to gauge lawmakers’ and the public’s appetite for the plan and to encourage more debate about health care coverage."

One thing to applaud (?):

"...officials of Owings Mills-based CareFirst said the region’s largest health insurer did not want to wait for progress to be made on the federal."

Insurers are afraid legislation will drive them to provide plans of this nature anyway, and are seeking the PR win via proactivity?

If you can't beat the bill, help draft the policy from the ground? And maybe those nice appreciative legislators will give you some tax breaks or something as a result?

Posted via web from Jen's posterous

1 comment:

Kevin Patrick Kane (CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield) said...

Jen,

Healthy Maryland is budget neutral. It does not expand the spending or raise taxes.

It does consolidate existing state programs. MHIP covers high-risk individuals and costs a butt-load of state revenue. Healthy Maryland expands the pool of individuals -- adding more healthy members and reducing per capita costs.

Hospital allocations for 'charity care' will also be used to fund the program. By insuring more Marylanders, fewer patients will flock to ERs. Therefore, these resources are naturally shifted.

Healthy Maryland also keeps health care choice in private citizens' hands. Yes, there is an individual mandate to have coverage, but we choose our insurer. This means that we are not enrolled in a government program for rationed care.

Here are some recent opinions on health care reform:

Reinventing Health Care: The Role of the States - http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/02/reinventing_health_care_the_ro.html

Workers' Health Benefits Eyed for Taxation - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/11/AR2009031103827.html

Health 'Reformers' Ignore Facts -
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123629779856246193.html

As for the Healthy Maryland Plan:

http://www.carefirst.com/media/html/LatestNews.html

Best wishes,

Kevin