May 16, 2002

The Honorable Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr.
President of the Senate
State House
Annapolis MD 21401

Dear Mr. President:

In accordance with Article II, Section 17 of the Maryland Constitution, I have today vetoed Senate Bill 888 - Health Insurance - Small Group - Open Enrollment Period.

This bill changes the frequency of open enrollment periods offered to self-employed individuals in the small group market. A health insurer, nonprofit health service plan or HMO (carrier) that offers coverage to a small employer must establish one annual open enrollment period for self-employed individuals in each 12-month period, rather than in each 6-month period as currently required. In addition, the bill repeals the provision that a carrier may deny coverage to a self-employed individual who applies for a health benefit plan at a time other than the carrier's annual open enrollment period.

House Bill 1427, which was passed by the General Assembly and signed by me, accomplishes the same purpose. Therefore, it is not necessary for me to sign Senate Bill 888.

Parris N. Glendening