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Maryland to allow health exchange info requests

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland will make information related to its health benefit exchange available through public information requests.

But the state’s Public Information Act does prevent disclosure of confidential commercial or financial information. Rebecca Pearce, executive director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, says information that could cause substantial harm to the competitive position of the contractor would not be subject to the state’s public information laws.

California has granted sweeping privacy exemptions to the agency running its insurance marketplace.

The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange is considered a quasi-public entity. That means it is independent of the executive branch, but it is a state agency subject to the Public Information Act as well as the state budget process. It is not, however, subject to all laws governing state agencies.