Positive ruling on health insurance
Finally, there is some good news on health insurance.
The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit granted an injunction barring the release of the experience ratings for the MEA Benefits Trust (MEABT) health insurance plans mandated by the legislature’s enactment of LD 1326.
LD 1326, promoted by Maine School Management Association and enacted with support by Republicans and a handful of Democrats, would change the way the MEABT has insured educators for the last 50 years.
Under LD 1326, rates would be based upon local school district “experience ratings” rather than the one statewide insurance pool the MEABT has used in the past to provide uniform coverage at a standard rate regardless of age or geographic location.
Rates could vary according to the claims experience in local districts, which would be subject to wild swings when there are catastrophic illnesses, and the regional cost of medical services, which is less in southern and metropolitan Maine and higher in northern and rural areas.
Anthem-Blue Cross Blue Shield had started to compile and release experience data to local school districts upon request. This injunction bars any further data distribution as the interim disclosure of “loss information” might cause irreparable harm if later to be found unwarranted.
Protecting your health insurance
LD 1326 is an ill-advised, politically motivated law that would fragment the MEA Benefits Trust and drive up the cost of health insurance for educators and taxpayers while eroding benefits.
The MEA Benefits Trust (MEABT) filed suit in federal court to oppose LD 1326’s implementation, claiming violations of the Taking Clause, Due Process Clauses, and Contracts Clauses of the U.S. Constitution and Maine Constitution.
This temporary injunction slows the rush by insurance agents to obtain experience ratings for individual school districts and “cherry pick” those with the best ratings.
And, it gives the Trust the opportunity to present our legal arguments against the implementation of the changes in health insurance mandated by LD 1326 and plan for an orderly transition to the new insurance environment should that become necessary.
Rest assured that MEABT will do everything possible to protect your health insurance.
Christine Burke, MEABT Executive Director