Thursday, March 16, 2006 - Government News - Current Publishing, LLC - Government News - Current Publishing, LLC: "Connors said the chamber, health care providers and insurance carriers 'have been working together with an eye on improving not destroying' the Dirigo Health program. They feel the assessment is unfair since it would be paid by those employers that provide health insurance to pay for those that don’t.

The stakeholders group invited to the meeting included the Maine Hospital Association, Anthem and Aetna insurance companies, Maine Small Business Alliance, Maine Health, Maine Health Purchasing Collaborative, Maine Association of Health Plans, and Bath Iron Works. All have been involved in Dirigo Health from the start. Several legislators also were in the group, including some Republicans who crashed the meeting.

The invitation for feedback comes as a bill sponsored by Sen. John Martin, D-Aroostook County, is making its way through committee that would prohibit insurance companies from passing along the assessment to their clients through premium hikes. Insurance companies say if they can’t pass along the assessment it will make it unprofitable to continue to do business in Maine."


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