AUGUSTA — On Wednesday, the Maine Bureau of Insurance (BOI) announced that Mainers are likely to pay less for their individual health insurance next year after reviewing and approving the rates submitted by the three insurance Individual Market health insurance carriers for 2021. This 13.1 percent average decrease in the cost of health care coverage comes in the wake of sweeping health care reforms championed by Legislative Democrats over the past two years.
“Yesterday’s announcement is great news for Mainers struggling with the outrageous costs of health care all across our state. Over and over again, we’ve heard from lobbyists and special interests about the dangers of laws that shake up our health care system so it puts patients first. Now, we know the truth,” said Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash. “Whether it’s the criminally high costs of prescription drugs or crushing insurance premiums, Senate Democrats have been steadfast in their commitment to make health care accessible and affordable for all Maine people. We’re not afraid to push back against abuses in our health insurance industry or call out corporate greed, especially when Mainers’ lives are on the line.”
This year, Legislative Democrats rolled out their Patients First package — a suite of health care reform laws advocating for Maine health consumers, protecting against abusive and surprise billing practices, and limiting what consumers pay for insulin so everyday people can afford this life saving medicine. Legislative Democrats also also passed the Made for Maine Coverage Act – championed by Speaker Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, and Senate President Jackson, D-Allagash — which increases access to no-cost primary care visits, introduces standardized health plans so consumers can shop for the best price and coverage options and saves Mainers money by putting Maine in control of its health care marketplace rather than the federal government.
These efforts come on the heels of a suite of prescription drug reforms passed into law last year. Those laws allowed the wholesale importation of prescription medicine, created a prescription drug affordability board, increased drug price transparency and better regulated pharmacy benefit managers.
“As chair of the Health Coverage, Insurance, and Financial Services Committee, I heard the tragic stories of Mainers crushed with health care costs every day,” said Sen. Heather Sanborn, D-Portland. “Today’s news marks a big win for Maine people, and validates that we can protect Mainers and improve healthcare coverage and still cut costs.”
You can read the full announcement here.