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Md. health exchange to vote on reinsurance Monday

The board of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange will vote at its meeting Monday on pursuing a reinsurance waiver.

In addition to that approval vote, the board also will create the parameters for the program.

Last week, Gov. Larry Hogan signed emergency legislation authorizing the exchange to pursue a reinsurance waiver. Reinsurance funds pay insurance companies for claims over a certain amount.

The belief among experts is reinsurance will help drive down insurance rates, which Hogan predicted could rise by as much as 50 percent without a reinsurance program.

The waiver would make the state eligible for federal pass-through funding for the program.

Additional funding came from a separate bill signed by the governor assessing insurers a one-time fee they ordinarily pay to the federal government. That fee was set aside this year, but the insurers will pay it to Maryland instead.

The state hopes that by pursuing the reinsurance waiver quickly, it will be able to have an impact on the market in time for the 2019 open enrollment period, which starts this November.

The board will meet at 2 p.m. Monday at the offices of the Maryland Health Care Commission in Baltimore.

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