The decision is “rooted in the particular circumstances of the Maine insurance market,” the letter reads.
Specifically, HHS points out that three insurers make up the bulk of Maine’s individual insurance market: Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maine (49 percent), MEGA Life and Health Insurance Company (37 percent) and HPHC Insurance Company (13 percent). MEGA had told Maine during preliminary discussions that it “would probably need to withdraw from this market if the minimum loss ratio requirement were increased.”
In other words, sticking to ObamaCare would rip the heart out of Maine’s own health care system, by driving carriers out of the market. So they get a waiver.
On a national scale, though, that’s more a feature than a bug — at least, if you listen to these folks.