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October 23, 2012 | last updated October 23, 2012 10:37 am

Union drops insurance claim history lawsuit

The statewide public school teachers union has dropped a legal fight to stop a law that allows school districts to have access to the insurance claim histories of its employees.

The Maine Education Association's Benefits Trust first filed suit to block the law a year ago but decided against continuing the battle after a discouraging ruling was handed down late last month from the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, according to the Bangor Daily News.

Given that decision, union representatives told the paper that it did not make sense to continue investing in the legal battle. State lawmakers who supported the bill said it would allow school districts to aggregate insurance claim histories, which they said could be used when shopping for cheaper insurance coverage options.

Currently, around 70,000 school employees are covered under the MEA's Benefits Trust and 70 districts have requested claim histories for their employees. The trust's executive director, Christine Burke, told the BDN that it remains unclear how many districts might pursue health coverage outside of the current union plan.

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