The state wanted to focus on its smallest businesses because that is where the lack of health insurance is most acute, says John Colmers, secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Reimbursement goes directly to the health insurer, so agents still get full commission on their sale, but the employer gets a bill that's half the size it would otherwise be.
"This means agents have no disincentive to sell to these really small businesses," Colmers says. Right now about 550 individuals are enrolled; the department is hoping to enroll 1,500 businesses this year.
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