Maryland Making Progress on Health Care Reform

A looming Supreme Court decision has not slowed down Maryland’s health care reform efforts. Since the 2012 Health Benefit Exchange legislation was passed in April, the HBE Board, the Governor’s Office of Health Care Reform and the Health Care Reform Coordinating Council have stuck to the business at hand and are moving ahead with implementation efforts.

The Governor’s Office on Health Care Reform launched a new website targeted to health care consumers, highlighting the impacts of health care reform on individuals, families, seniors, and small business owners.

The Health Care Reform Coordinating Council held a meeting in May to discuss a plan for selecting Maryland’s Essential Health Benefit Package and determining the financing mechanisms for the Health Benefit Exchange. The Essential Health Benefit Plan is the list of benefits required of all plans sold through the Health Benefit Exchange. US Department of Health and Human Services has issued guidance to states informing this selection. Maryland will make its selection by September 30, 2012. An advisory committee for the EHB selection was solicited and members are likely to be named in the coming weeks.

Maryland’s Health Benefit Exchange (the transparent marketplace where individuals and small employers will be able to purchase insurance in 2014) is moving ahead with implementation efforts directed in the 2012 legislation. The HBE Board held a meeting in May to select advisory committees, get an update on the technology infrastructure and Maryland upcoming Level II grant for federal funds to continue implementation, and to discuss options for premium and bill collecting through the Exchange. The Board named members of the following committees:

  • Navigator Advisory Committee, tasked with offering input on navigator roles and responsibilities and training requirements including cultural competency
  • Continuity of Care Advisory Committee, tasked with looking at current market strategies that support continuity of care as people shift between differing plans and the financial impacts of doing so.
  • Plan Management Advisory Committee, tasked with offering input on plan certification standards, strategies to reduce health disparities, and models for presenting plan information to consumers
  • Financing Advisory Committee, tasked with analyzing different methods of financing for the Exchange

All signs point to Maryland continuing on its current path of implementation. At this time of great opportunity in health care expansion, it is essential we stay involved to ensure that behavioral health stakeholders have their voices heard. We are proud to have earned a seat on the Plan Management Advisory Committee and would appreciate any comments, concerns or questions we can take to the meetings.

Contact Adrienne Ellis, aellis@mhamd.org if you have questions or comments; or Sign Up for Alerts to make sure you are informed about Maryland’s efforts.



 

 

 

 

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