Public Laws

124th Legislature

First Regular Session



Chapter 357

H.P. 976 - L.D. 1397

An Act To Allow Efficient Health Insurance Coverage

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 24-A MRSA §4303, sub-§1,  as amended by PL 2007, c. 199, Pt. B, §5, is further amended to read:

1. Demonstration of adequate access to providers.   Except as provided in paragraph paragraphs A, B and C, a carrier offering or renewing a managed care plan shall provide to its members reasonable access to health care services in accordance with standards developed by rule by the superintendent. These standards must consider the geographical and transportational problems in rural areas. All managed care plans covering residents of this State must provide reasonable access to providers consistent with the access-to-services requirements of any applicable bureau rule.
B Upon approval of the superintendent, a carrier may offer a health plan that includes financial provisions designed to encourage members to use designated providers in a network if:

(1) The entire network meets overall access standards pursuant to Bureau of Insurance Rule Chapter 850;

(2) The health plan is consistent with product design guidelines for Bureau of Insurance Rule Chapter 750, but only if the health plan is offered by a health maintenance organization;

(3) The health plan does not include financial provisions designed to encourage members to use designated providers of primary, preventive, maternity, obstetrical, ancillary or emergency care services, as defined in Bureau of Insurance Rule Chapter 850;

(4) The financial provisions may apply to all of the enrollees covered under the carrier's health plan;

(5) The carrier establishes to the satisfaction of the superintendent that the financial provisions permit the provision of better quality services and the quality improvements either significantly outweigh any detrimental impact to covered persons forced to travel longer distances to access services, or the carrier has taken steps to effectively mitigate any detrimental impact associated with requiring covered persons to travel longer distances to access services. The superintendent may consult with other state entities, including the Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Health and the Maine Quality Forum established in section 6951, to determine whether the carrier has met the requirements of this subparagraph. The superintendent shall adopt rules regarding the criteria used by the superintendent to determine whether the carrier meets the quality requirements of this subparagraph; and

(6) The financial provisions may not permit travel at a distance that exceeds the standards established in Bureau of Insurance Rule Chapter 850 for mileage and travel time by 100%.

C A carrier may develop and file with the superintendent for approval a pilot program that allows carriers to reward providers for quality and efficiency through tiered benefit networks and providing incentives to members. The upper tier, or the upper tiers if there are 3 or more tiers, under a pilot program approved pursuant to this paragraph is exempt from geographic access requirements set forth in this subsection or in rules adopted by the superintendent. Any carrier offering a health plan under the pilot program must collect data on the impact of the pilot program on premiums paid by enrollees, payments made to providers, quality of care received and access to health care services by individuals enrolled in health plans under the pilot program and must submit that data annually to the superintendent. The superintendent shall report annually beginning January 15, 2010 to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over insurance and financial services matters on any approval of a pilot program pursuant to this paragraph.

The basis for tiering benefits under a pilot program must be to provide incentives for higher-quality care, improved patient safety or improved efficiency or a combination of those factors. The superintendent shall consult with the Maine Quality Forum under section 6951 in assessing quality. The superintendent shall disapprove or withdraw approval of a pilot program if the superintendent finds that approval or continued operation would cause undue hardship to enrollees in the pilot program or reduce their quality of care.

The superintendent shall consider the experience of approved pilot programs, including consumer complaints and examinations, provider behavior and efficiency, in determining whether or not to reapprove subsequent pilot program applications.

Effective September 12, 2009

Office of the Revisor of Statutes
State House, Room 108
Augusta, ME 04333