AUGUSTA — A bill that overhauls Maine’s health insurance system is heading to Gov. Paul LePage’s desk for his signature.

The Governor’s Office said LePage will sign the bill, LD 1333, into law at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the State House Hall of Flags.

The bill received final approval from the Maine Senate in a 24-10 vote earlier today.

The 45-page bill would overhaul the health insurance market for about 40,000 people – those who buy independently or through employers whose companies have 50 or fewer workers.

It would affect almost every policyholder in the state because of the tax on premiums of as much as $4 per person per month. The only exemptions are federal and state workers, including legislators.

Democrats today sought to amend the bill to require that lawmakers pay the tax. Republicans blocked that attempt but said they planned to submit separate legislation to accomplish the same thing.

The bill would give insurance companies more leeway in how much they can charge policyholders based on occupation and age.

Republicans say the changes would foster more competition in the health insurance market. They say that the reforms would encourage more young people to buy insurance, and that a larger pool with more healthy people would lower premiums for all groups.

The bill would prohibit insurers from rejecting people for pre-existing conditions. It would create a mechanism for covering insurance costs of people with chronic illnesses.

Democrats said the bill would raise the cost of insurance for older people, especially those in rural areas. They complained that the Republicans rushed the bill through the Legislature without give lawmakers or staffers in the State Insurance Bureau time to complete an actuarial study.