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Interesting concept in Maryland proposed

Crabcake Johnny

5000 Post Club
The Maryland Health Care commission is entertaining a unique proposal. Under this proposal the Maryland Health Insurance Exchange would be created and employers, employees and individuals could all purchase their own coverage.

Health insurance companies would file their plans with the exchange commission so competition would still be alive and brokers would still be paid at a commission of no less than 5% (which is what current group pays.)

The difference is employees would own their plans, not the employer.


1) Employers should never own the coverage of their employees. In certain situations employees keep jobs they'd otherwise leave just because of health benefits.

2) This still allows companies to compete for key employees by offering the level of reimbursement for the plan. ABC company could advertise "we'll pay 75% of your health plan" while a competitive company could say "we'll pay 80%."

3) No more messing with Cobra.

All in all I kinda like this but would like to see the specifics. If competition is still fostered, agents still get compensated and people own their own plans I don't see a lot of downside.
It it goes through everyone and every business would have to purchase their health insurance through this "Insurance Exchange." All agents would have to sell either individual or group policies through the exchange. This, if you read between the lines, would erase companies like Mega from doing business here.
Thanks for the link.

A lot will change is an understatement if I am reading this right. I am very interested in learning what type of plans will be offered. I imagine the statement, "The exchange must pay certain commission fees to insurance brokers who refer individuals for participation in the exchange," actually means we will see a check.

How do you see this bill impacting the small business owner market?

I like the fact that there will still be competition under this bill - all insurance companies will still offer their plans and agents will still be compensated.

If I'm reading this right myself, this will be an "insurance warehouse" where individuals and employers go to shop for health insurance all controlled by this exchange commission.

I think small business owners will be thrilled since their employees would be able to own their plan and buy direct through the exchange. No messing with Cobra. A business wouldn't even have to offer group insurance. They might have 50 employees - 25 might choose Blue Cross, 10 might want Aetna and 15 might go with United Healthcare.

This also involves universal healthcare in MD mirroring Mass. where having a policy will be mandatory.

My real take on this? It'll die. BUT, if it's tweaked enough I do indeed see something similar to this passing witin the next five years.