An advisory panel yesterday presented its report outlining the creation of Maine's health insurance exchange, as required by the federal health insurance overhaul, but not all lawmakers were happy with the result.
The nine-member panel formed earlier this year presented to the Insurance and Financial Services Committee its report detailing how Maine should structure its nonprofit health insurance exchange, according to The Associated Press. The federal Affordable Care Act requires states to set up exchanges that are self-sustaining by 2015. The report includes ways to authorize the exchange to certify participating health plans, determine eligibility of individuals to participate, and maintain toll-free hot lines and other services to help people purchase coverage.
However, Democrats argued the plan doesn't do enough to represent consumer interests. Sen. Joseph Brannigan, D-Portland, said the report was not "friendly and inviting as a marketplace for businesses and people shopping for insurance." Joseph Bruno, chairman of the advisory committee, disagreed, saying the report recommends having consumer representation on its governing board and other advisory panels. The Affordable Care Act is still facing legal challenges as well.