A Maine Superior Court judge upheld the method used by the state to calculate $43.7 million in savings during the first year of Maine's Dirigo Health plan. The savings are a point of contention because health plans and employers must match the savings; the money will be used to subsidize health insurance for low-income individuals. The Maine Association of Health Plans, the state Chamber of Commerce and the Maine Automobile Dealers Association argued the definition used to calculate savings for 2004-05 was too broad. Moreover, the groups argued, enrollment in Dirigo Health so far has been lower than expected and hasn't led to reduced costs for employers and health plans. The health plan association is considering an appeal. The judge said the calculation by the state insurance superintendent appeared to be based on a reasonable analysis, and in fact, the first-year savings were lowered to $43.7 million from the $136.8 million recommended by a board appointed by the superintendent. -- by Joseph Mantone
Court OKs savings estimate for Maine health plan
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