May 17, 2006
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
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.