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January 22, 2013 | last updated January 22, 2013 11:06 am

Bill aims to restore state insurance rate review

A slate of bills before the new Legislature is aimed at restoring the state's ability to accept or reject rate increases for individual and small-group health insurance policies.

The Portland Press Herald reported that LD 83, sponsored by Sen. John Patrick, D-Rumford, is one bill of many aimed at restoring the regulatory oversight that was removed by the Republican-led Legislature in 2011.

That change allowed insurers to make rate increases of less than 10% without any state approval if the company pays at least 80% of the money it receives from premiums toward care and quality improvement.

The bill is co-sponsored by Democratic leaders in the Senate.

At the time, Republican supporters of drawing down regulatory oversight said the effort would decrease health insurance costs for many policyholders, which Democrats and opposition group Maine Consumers for Affordable Health Care contest.

The bill is just one of 1,780 that have been submitted for consideration in the current legislative session, according the Maine Public Broadcasting Network.

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