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Maine Wins First Waiver to Health Insurance Premium Rules

The state of Maine received a three-year waiver to federal rules in the 2010 health law that require health insurers to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on patient care, the U.S. government said today.

Maine’s waiver is the first the government has granted on the premium expenditure rules. Insurers in the state selling policies to individuals will have to spend only 65 percent of premiums on patients, with the rest going toward profits and administrative costs. The exemption will last through 2013, U.S. regulators said today in a letter to the state.