Federal government approves Maine's plan to merge individual and small group markets

CMS has approved Maine's plan to improve health insurance for small businesses and tackle rising premiums by merging its individual and small group markets under the ACA into a single, pooled market, starting in 2023.

The merger will stabilize the state's insurance market and allow federal funding from the state's reinsurance program to go to the small group market for the first time. This will result in premiums that are 8 percent lower on average in the individual market and 6 percent lower in the small group market, and limit declining enrollment among small groups, according to a July 15 news release. 

State officials say the move will also help small businesses avoid the impact of rising healthcare costs because of inflation, workforce shortages, the ongoing need for COVID-19 care and the end of pandemic financial programs.

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