June 16, 2019

Panel sets hearings on patients’ bill of rights

BANGOR — The Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Banking and Insurance will hold the third of three public hearings in Bangor on Thursday to gather public comment on two “patients’ bill of rights” bills being considered by the panel. The first hearing was held in Biddeford last week and the second will be held in Lewiston on Tuesday.

“There is a growing concern among Maine families about receiving insurance coverage for health care they need from health maintenance organizations,” said Sen. Lloyd P. LaFountain III, D-Biddeford, Senate chairman of the committee. “The patients’ bill of rights will be one of the most important issues facing the Maine Legislature this session. We recognize the importance of getting as much public input as possible on these bills.”

Rep. Jane Saxl, D-Bangor, House chairman of the committee, said, “We need to be sure that the people making health health care decisions are licensed health care professionals, not administrative personnel whose primary mission is to protect their bottom line. I think it is common sense expectation when I buy health insurance for my family that it provides the health care they need. I don’t think anyone could demand less.”

The Banking and Insurance Committee has been studying the issue through the fall. Upon completing its consideration of the patients’ bill of rights bills, the committee will make its recommendations to the full Legislature in the second regular session which begins in January.

The remaining hearings are scheduled for:

Lewiston — 6:30-9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Multipurpose Center;

Bangor — 6:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday, City Council chambers.

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