1. In September, the Maryland Health Care Commission (HCC) reported on "Patterns of Payment and Service for Anesthesia Among the Privately Insured in Maryland." The Report noted that anesthesia payments made by private insurers in Maryland grew by about 18% from 2002 to 2005. That growth can be explained by an increase in the number of patient events, increased service intensity and increases in fees per patient event. Fifty-seven percent of the anesthesia payments were for services provided in outpatient facilities in 2005, which is a slight shift from 2002 (54%).
2. In December, the HCC released Maryland's section of the "Medical Expenditure Panel Survey -Insurance Component", a national survey that collects information on private sector employer-sponsored health insurance. The Survey reports that in 2005, 59% of Maryland private sector workers were enrolled in their own employer's health insurance plans, compared to 54% nationwide. About 14% of workers were offered coverage, but declined. Nearly 27% of the Maryland workers were unable to get coverage through their employers: 15% because they were contractual or part time workers and 12% because their employers did not offer coverage. Compared to the U.S. average, the percent of total premiums contributed by Maryland private sector employees for individual coverage was higher in four of the six years from 2000 to 2005. From 2000 to 2005, Maryland's average premium for individual HMO coverage rose from $2,582 to $3,438, while individual PPO coverage rose from $2,695 to $4,128.
3. In December, the HCC released its report "Long-Term Services and Supports in Maryland, Planning for 2010, 2020 and 2030" as required by the General Assembly. The report concludes that the State's existing system for long-term services is likely to be overwhelmed by individuals aged 65 and older seeking long term health care services. State expenditures for long-term care are expected to grow threefold to $6.06 billion by 2030.