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ME mulls cross-border health insurance sales

Bangor Daily News, April 14, 2011
With important health insurance changes looming as a result of the national health reforms contained in the Affordable Care Act, Maine lawmakers on the Insurance and Financial Services Committee heard a cluster of proposals Tuesday aimed at promoting the purchase of health insurance across state lines. Maine's health insurance rates are among the highest in the country, and some have called for the law to be changed to allow Mainers to purchase policies sold in other states where regulations are less burdensome and rates are lower. But opponents have argued that Mainers who purchase insurance in other states would forfeit the consumer protections provided by the Maine Bureau of Insurance, which oversees the industry and enforces regulations established by the Legislature. And since many of the people who would be most interested in out-of-state coverage would be relatively young, healthy individuals looking to purchase inexpensive, high-deductible plans, critics say the older, sicker people left behind would see their monthly premiums grow even more expensive than they are now.

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