Senate Republican Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Back) Rep. Foley, Joel Allumbaugh, Avery Allumbaugh, Matthew Gagnon, Senate President Thibodeau
(Front) Rep. Wallace, Rep. Picchiotti, Gov. LePage, Sen. Whittemore, Coralee Whittemore
AUGUSTA – The governor today signed Senator Rod Whittemore’s (R-Somerset) bill, LD 445, “An Act To Comparison-shop for Certain Health Care Procedures and To Lower Health Care Costs,” into law at a bill signing ceremony in Augusta.
This new law, which is the most significant health care reform since the enactment of PL 90 in 2011, sailed through the committee process and both the House and Senate on unanimous votes.
Under this new law, health insurance companies will be required to offer health insurance plans in which enrollees are directly incentivized to shop for comparable health care services from lower cost, high quality providers. The incentives for shopping for the best value include, but are not limited to, cash payments or credit towards copayments or deductibles.
Initially there will be four categories of services that will be shoppable, which include physical and occupational therapy services, radiology and imaging services, laboratory services and infusion therapy services. There will also be a health care price transparency shopping tool which will consist of available websites and a toll-free number that enables enrollees to obtain information.
“In America, we have some of the best health care in the world, however the cost of this care has reached a point where affordability has become a huge hurdle for most of our citizens,” said Sen. Whittemore.
“As of Jan. 1, 2017, the latest data indicates our National Health Care Cost has risen to $3,400,000,000,000 a year. That’s an average of $10,345 for every man, woman and child in America.
“Encouraging consumers to seek lower cost high quality health care, and rewarding them for doing so, will create constructive competition among healthcare providers. This will also have a positive impact on lowering the overall cost of healthcare, which will ultimately lower insurance premiums.”