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Health Insurance, School Construction Focal Points of Annual Md. Bill-Signing

From The Washington Informer

By William J. Ford

May 13, 2019

EXCERPT

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday signed into law a third package of bills largely focusing on education and health insurance.

Among the 182 bills signed by Hogan, Sen. President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. and House Speaker Adrienne Jones, health advocates believe one piece of legislation ushering in a new insurance program will be a future model for other states.

The Maryland Easy Enrollment Health Insurance program will help at least 100,000 uninsured residents receive coverage by simply checking a box on their state tax income returns.

The bill, sponsored by Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk (D-District 21) of College Park and Sen. Brian Feldman (D-Montgomery County), would determine eligibility for free or low-cost health insurance and expand the poll of consumers and decrease premium costs for other enrollees.

Stan Dorn, a senior fellow with Families USA, a national advocacy group based in northwest D.C., said Maryland will be the first state in the nation to let residents “jump-start” their health insurance applications from tax returns. The process would start either by January or in 2021, depending on what the state comptroller says “is feasible.”

“We’re going to take this show on the road and encourage people all across the county to follow the great lead of Maryland,” Dorn said. “Democrats and Republicans in Maryland have come together to find practical, innovate solutions to help lower people’s health care costs and get more people the financial security that comes with health insurance. It’s really a big deal.”