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Legislative Update

As we head into the Spring of 2013, we keep our eyes firmly focuses on Maryland's progress in implementing the required provisions set forth by PPACA, specifically the state based exchanges, or as we will come to know it, the Maryland Health Connection.
The biggest news right now is the delay of the SHOP Exchange's implementation.  Originally slated for plan effective dates of 1-1-2014, the first effective dates for groups wishing to enroll in the SHOP will now be 3-1-2014.  Our partners at the Maryland Health Connection have informed us that this will be the ONLY delay in the launch of the SHOP Exchange.  It is worth noting that the Individual Exchange is still slated for 1-1-2014 effective dates, so this delay only impacts the SHOP Exchange.
This past month, the Maryland Health Connection performed it's first demo of their online eligibility, plan shopping, and enrollment site.  BAHU was invited and present to provide substantial feedback.
The Maryland Health Progress Act of 2013 is set to roll through both houses shortly with dozens of amendments from the original version.  BAHU was successful in implementing a few changes to highlight the role of the producer community and protect our position in this new entity.  
Six MAHU members were invited into positions of the Maryland Health Connection's Producer Advisory Council, and are meeting monthly with our partners at the MHC to provide input and feedback.

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Maryland Health Connection Producer Council and SHOP Delay

Last week, the Producer Advisory Council to the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange had its monthly meeting. We are fortunate to have multiple BAHU and MAHU members as part of the council.

 

One of the topics up for discussion was the role that Web Based Entities should play in this new structure that is the Maryland Health Connection. Web Based Entities are producers that offer health insurance options through a portal (think ehealthinsurance.com). The MHBE tends to be of the opinion that these entities will assist in providing access to coverage for a greater number of Marylanders. The stance of our organization is that these entities do not provide substantial consultation, consumer advocacy, or indsutry knowledge to effectively enroll people in the healthcare system who have not been a part of the system prior.

 

The State is asking for public comments regarding the role of WBEs in the Exchange, and we are asking that you voice your opinion. Feedback is due by COB on FRIDAY March 29th!

 

Feedback for can be found at: http://marylandhbe.com/committees/public-comment/

 

Additionally, it was disclosed in this meeting that the SHOP Exchange will be pushing back its first effective dates to March 1, 2014 from January 1, 2014. January and February effective dates will NOT be able to enroll in the SHOP Exchange in 2014. The Individual Exchange is still targetting a 1-1-14 Effective Date.

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