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U.S. approves waiver to allow Maryland to lower Obamacare premium costs

August 21st, 2018 by WCBC Radio

The Baltimore Sun reports top Maryland officials plan to announce Wednesday that the Trump administration has approved a federal waiver that would stave off expected increases in health insurance costs for more than 200,000 state residents. The two prime sponsors of the legislation that set up the plan to control costs under Obamacare and required the state to seek the waiver confirmed Tuesday that the federal government has given Maryland the green light for its reinsurance program. They also said an announcement is expected at the State House on Wednesday.   Amelia Chasse, a spokesman for Governor  Larry Hogan, confirmed plans for an announcement on the reinsurance plan but would not provide details. House Speaker Michael  Buschand Senate President Mike Miller are also expected to speak. Del. Joseline Pena-Melnyk and Sen. Thomas M. “Mac” Middleton, who sponsored the bills to fill the gap left by Congress’ elimination of a key source of funds for Obamacare, said they have been told the announcement about the waiver had been approved. Passage of the bills creating the reinsurance plan and seeking the waiver were hailed as one of the chief bipartisan accomplishments of the 2018 legislative session. The Republican governor worked with the Democratic leaders to cushion the blow to ratepayers in the individual health insurance market of the elimination of the federal individual mandate that had required taxpayers to insure themselves or pay a penalty.

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