State Health Insurance Coverage Protection Commission Holds First Meeting

The Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Commission, established to monitor and assess the actual and potential impacts that federal changes to the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA), Medicaid, and Medicare may have on Maryland, met for the first time this week.

The Washington Post reports on the difficulties the Commission faces as federal reform efforts remain a moving target:

The Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Commission, co-chaired by Sen. Brian J. Feldman (D-Montgomery) and Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk (D-Prince George’s), is set to issue legislative recommendations by the end of the year. Its job is complicated by the constantly shifting prospects of the stalled federal health-care legislation.

“We know it’s chaos,” Peña-Melnyk said. “We are constantly being threatened, so we have to be vigilant, and we have to assess the impact of actual and potential federal changes.”

The leader of Maryland’s state-run health insurance marketplace told the commission that the Affordable Care Act was instrumental in cutting the state’s uninsured rate in half to about 6.6 percent, after the state exchange recovered from a disastrous launch.

The Baltimore Sun reports that over a million Marylanders have insurance either through exchange or through Medicaid and notes the biggest threats to coverage in the state at this time:

The most immediate peril facing the states is that the Republican administration would refuse to pay Obamacare’s cost-sharing subsidies to insurers that allow them to provide coverage to lower-income customers.

The Commission, which is comprised of 12 members (six legislators and six stakeholders), must submit a report to the general assembly annually through 2020 providing findings and recommendations on actions the state should take to protect access to affordable health care coverage for Marylanders.

To learn more:

Maryland panel to monitor health-care overhaul efforts meets for first time (The Washington Post)

Panel Hears of Obamacare Successes, Perils in Maryland (The Baltimore Sun)

Healthcare reform will be discussed at the 2017 MACo Summer Conference session “ABCs of ACA, AHCA, BCRA and Healthcare in Maryland“ on Thursday, August 17, from 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm.

The MACo summer conference is August 16-19, 2017 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City Maryland. This year’s theme is “You’re Hired!”.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: