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For Immediate Release
May 17, 2006
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

SENATE BILL 1955 STALLS—
CURRAN LED NATIONAL EFFORT TO OPPOSE

Late last week SB 1955, The Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act of 2006, stalled in the United States Senate. Maryland Attorney General Curran led a multi-state effort along with the Attorneys General of Illinois and North Dakota urging Congressional leaders to defeat this bill. Their effort was joined by the Attorneys General of 37 states and the District of Columbia.

Senate Bill 1955 would have dramatically changed the health insurance marketplace by allowing health insurance carriers to offer health plans that do not include state mandated benefits. Maryland currently mandates that health insurance plans include services such as cancer screenings, mammograms, routine gynecological care, child wellness services, and diabetes equipment. Under S.1955, health insurance carriers would no longer have to offer such services in their plans.

“I am very sympathetic with the concerns of individuals and small businesses regarding the high cost of health insurance and am hopeful that legislators will develop a solution that will make health care affordable and accessible for everybody; however, that solution should not include stripping away consumer protections that already exist in the health insurance market,” said Curran. The Attorney General said his office will continue to monitor the status of this bill. “This was simply a bad bill; it would have harmed consumers physically and financially,” said Curran.

Consumers that need assistance receiving their health benefits can contact the Attorney General’s Health Education and Advocacy Unit by either making a phone call (1-877-261-8807, toll-free in Maryland) or by filing a complaint online at www.oag.state.md.us/Consumer/HEAU.htm.

   

Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372
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