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Over 10,000 Maine People in Line for Refund This Summer Because of Health Care Reform Law

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With the Supreme Court expected to rule next week on the health care reform law, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree said Maine consumers are already seeing benefits that could disappear if the law is overturned.

Pingree said today that thousands of Maine residents will get an average rebate of $463 under the "80-20 rule" that is part of the health care reform law.

"This rule makes sure that consumers are getting a fair value for the money they are paying in premiums. If insurance companies aren't paying out at least 80% of what they take in, they have to refund consumers the difference. In Maine, that means a rebate this summer of nearly $500 for over thousands of people."

Mainers owed a rebate will see their value reflected in one of the following ways:

* a rebate check in the mail;

* a lump-sum reimbursement to the same account that is used to pay the premium if by credit card or debit card;

* a reduction in their future premiums; or

* their employer providing one of the above, or applying the rebate in a manner that benefits its employees.

"Insurance companies have a responsibility to spend the money they collect in premiums on covering doctors bills when someone gets sick," Pingree said. "It's just common sense."

The rebates announced today benefit 10,600 Maine people in 5,600 Maine families. The average refund is $463.

The law requires the rebates be paid out by August 1. Maine applied for a 2-year waiver of the rule for the individual insurance market, so only people who get their insurance through a group policy (through an employer, for example) are currently covered by the 80-20 rule.

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