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HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | February 28, 2014
The Maryland health exchange reported that another 2,385 people purchased private insurance through its website in the week ending Feb. 22, brining the total in private plans to more than 35,600. That figure is still well below targets, even the newly revised ones that cut in half the expected number of polices sold during the current open enrollment that ends March 31. The number of people signing up for Medicaid, the federal-state insurance program for the poor, peaked during this time frame, however, at 10,777.
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HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | August 19, 2014
Maryland health exchange officials plan to contact every person who bought one of their insurance plans last year to get them to re-enroll in November. Most of the nearly 79,000 people who gained private coverage in the state under the Affordable Care Act were subsidized, and they will lose that benefit if they don't sign back up manually. Most people who do nothing will be automatically re-enrolled in the same or equivalent plans, according to Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, state health secretary and chairman of the exchange board.
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NEWS
By New York Times | April 12, 1991
WASHINGTON -- Investigators from the General Accounting Office have told Congress that they had found numerous abuses in the sale of private insurance intended to cover the high costs of nursing home care for elderly people.The testimony laid a foundation for congressional efforts to set minimum standards for such insurance, perhaps as early as this year, even though insurance executives insisted there was no need for federal regulation.The inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, Richard P. Kusserow, seemed to lend support to the call for minimum federal standards.
NEWS
By Darrell Gaskin | July 27, 2014
The Potomac River has long been a symbolic divide between two states with divergent histories and politics. Today, the difference between Virginia and Maryland plays out in Medicaid coverage. In Maryland, low-income workers - adults living alone making $15,552 a year or less, or a family of four earning less than $31,720 - are eligible for Medicaid. In Virginia, workers with these incomes or lower are most likely uninsured. That's because the Virginia legislature last month rejected Gov. Terry McAuliffe's appeal to expand Medicaid to cover this group.
NEWS
February 25, 1998
HOUSE REPUBLICANS in Annapolis have developed an alternative to Gov. Parris N. Glendening's plan to extend government health care to uninsured pregnant women and children. Their proposal makes far more sense. It relies on graduated tax credits to help families afford private insurance, rather than committing taxpayers to the cost of insuring children in perpetuity.The governor wants to extend Medicaid to families with incomes up to 200 percent of poverty -- $32,000 for families of four -- even if they have access to employer-provided insurance.
NEWS
March 22, 1998
THE HOUSE VERSION of a bill to give children from low- and moderate-income families health insurance costs about the same as Gov. Parris N. Glendening's sweeping plan to extend Medicaid.But philosophically, it is quite different in important and advantageous ways.The governor's plan, which has passed the Senate, would create a new entitlement -- free health care for children and pregnant women in families making up to 200 percent of poverty, or about $32,000 for a family of four.The entitlement would extend to those with access to private insurance, which they could drop and then sign up for the free plan after 90 days.
NEWS
By Benjamin L. Cardin | December 8, 2003
FOR CENTURIES, the first rule of medicine has been to "do no harm," but Congress has just seriously harmed a program that has provided America's seniors with a lifeline for nearly 40 years. I have long supported providing seniors with a prescription drug benefit within Medicare, but the newly passed Medicare bill will cause more harm than good. Under the pretext of offering "choice" to seniors and encouraging free-market competition, this bill gives an unfair advantage to private health plans, an advantage that over time will weaken the guarantee of Medicare as we know it. This bill grants private insurers billions in federal subsidies to encourage them to re-enter the senior market.
NEWS
By John B. O'Donnell and John B. O'Donnell,Washington Bureau | April 3, 1993
WASHINGTON -- The federal government is losing as much as $500 million a year by paying thousands of medical bills for the elderly that private insurance companies should be paying, a Senate subcommittee was told yesterday.And there is a backlog of more than $1 billion paid out by Medicare that the government should try to recover from the private insurers, witnesses said."We're not talking about chicken feed," Sen. William V. Roth Jr., a Delaware Republican, commented.Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, chairman of the Subcommittee on Regulation and Government Information of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, said, "There is no magic bullet" for eliminating erroneous payments, "but there is a serious problem."
NEWS
January 5, 1991
Rhode Island's new governor, Bruce G. Sundlun, wasted no time after being sworn in this past week before taking emergency action to close 45 credit unions and small banks with $1.7 billion in assets and 300,000 accounts. The private insurer of these institutions had insufficient reserves to cover a large embezzlement at one bank and a run on deposits. Now the state faces the likelihood of a huge bailout even as it copes with a $160 million budget deficit that is still growing.Does this situation sound familiar?
NEWS
September 29, 2012
The op-ed by Drs. Joshua M. Sharfstein and Laura Herrera and Charles Milligan ("Caring about costs, too," Sept. 27) offers a compelling set of recommendations to improve the quality of health care while reducing costs. Unfortunately, they neglected to describe the best single evidence-based practice - eliminating private health insurance. Private health insurance adds only costs, but no value, to the delivery of health services. A Cambridge Medical Care Foundation study found that 31 percent of health care spending in the U.S. - equal to more than $600 billion annually - pays for administration, marketing, and the profits of private insurance.
NEWS
Erin Cox and The Baltimore Sun | March 28, 2014
Gov. Martin O'Malley urged uninsured people Friday to sign up for health coverage as soon as possible to beat Monday's deadline. Despite the ongoing technical problems with Maryland's health care exchange, O'Malley said the state has already seen a huge surge in enrollments over the past week. "It's not a drive-through McDonald's by any means," O'Malley said, cautioning that there are delays due to heavy traffic, but that the system is working better than it has in the past. "We're actually moving a lot of people," he said.  The governor said more people signed up for private insurance through the exchange in the past week than in the first 10 weeks after the exchange went live in October.
NEWS
March 6, 2014
Maryland's health care system faces its greatest transformation in a generation - not because of the state's troubled health insurance exchange or even directly because of the Affordable Care Act but because of a change in the state's decades-old system for compensating hospitals. Under the terms of Maryland's newly updated waiver to Medicare rules, hospitals will make profits by keeping people well and out of their wards rather than by admitting them and treating them when they get sick.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | February 28, 2014
The Maryland health exchange reported that another 2,385 people purchased private insurance through its website in the week ending Feb. 22, brining the total in private plans to more than 35,600. That figure is still well below targets, even the newly revised ones that cut in half the expected number of polices sold during the current open enrollment that ends March 31. The number of people signing up for Medicaid, the federal-state insurance program for the poor, peaked during this time frame, however, at 10,777.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | February 23, 2014
The target long used by the Maryland health exchange of how many people would enroll in private policies through its website this year was slashed in half after an error came to light, making the state appear far closer to its goal — but still unlikely to reach it. A top exchange official said Sunday a mistake in a chart outlining exchange projections made by outside analysts put the number of people likely to sign up for private insurance under...
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | January 31, 2014
The Maryland health exchange, where uninsured and underinsured can buy insurance, reported that 26,832 people have enrolled through the website for private coverage as of Jan. 25. That's up 1,655 from last week's report. Another 1,800 people were automatically moved from a bare-bones state program to Medicaid, bringing the total moved from that program to 95,318. And 42,302 more people were enrolled directly into Medicaid through the exchange. That's a jump of almost 13,000, reflecting two weeks worth of sign-ups.
NEWS
By John Fritze and Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | January 23, 2014
Rep. John Delaney, the Potomac Democrat who has emerged as a leading critic of Maryland's troubled health exchange, is fueling speculation that he is interested in running for governor — a move observers said could shake up the state's premier political contest this year. A former banking executive who rose from political obscurity to gain an improbable win for Congress in 2012, Delaney has done little to quell the buzz generated by his repeated criticism of Gov. Martin O'Malley or the revelation that his name appeared alongside other gubernatorial candidates in a recent poll.
NEWS
By Cox News Service | September 24, 1991
WASHINGTON -- Health and Human Services Secretary Louis W. Sullivan, rejecting calls for comprehensive health care reforms, said yesterday that he wants a public debate over narrowly defined tax and policy changes "that address our most urgent health care concerns."Among them, he said, should be changes in the way the government and private insurance companies process paperwork.Speaking to a health policy forum sponsored by Faulkner & Gray Inc., publishers of numerous health publications, Dr. Sullivan said that he planned to convene a "summit" of major insurance companies to seek ways to reduce administrative costs.
NEWS
By Chicago Tribune | April 22, 1992
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. government spends far less to administer Medicare, its largest health insurance program, than commercial health insurance companies spend overseeing private health insurance policies, a new study shows.Commercial health insurance companies spent 37.2 cents for administration, marketing and overhead in 1990 for every dollar they paid in benefits, according to a study released yesterday by Citizen Action, a self-described public interest group. That compares with only 2.1 cents per dollar spent by Medicare and 0.9 cents spent by the Canadian health system, a government-run program for universal health care.
NEWS
By John Fritze and The Baltimore Sun | January 21, 2014
Rep. John Delaney, the first-term Democrat who has become an outspoken critic of the state's troubled health exchange, argued in a letter Tuesday that "every state…that borders Maryland appears to be outperforming us" as he renewed his call to switch to the federal website. "It is extremely troubling that major problems with the Maryland Health Connection persist," Delaney wrote in his latest letter on the issue to Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration. "It is deeply frustrating that we continue to operate with so little transparency.
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