By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun

7:52 p.m. EDT, March 15, 2011

State health officials and advocates joined CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Tuesday in unveiling a more than $150,000 campaign to spread the word about tax credits available to small businesses under federal health care reform.

Small businesses with 25 or fewer employees and average wages of less than $50,000 are eligible for a credit of up to 35 percent of their health insurance costs. The businesses must also pay 50 percent of employee premiums to be eligible.

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, other state officials and members of Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition said many small businesses don’t know about the tax credit. CareFirst, the state’s largest insurer, is funding most of the campaign, which will include $70,000 worth of radio commercials.

Small business owners and their employees make up a large portion of the uninsured. Health officials believe that, in Maryland, 66,000 or 80 percent of the 82,600 small businesses would be eligible for the credit.

Small businesses can find out more about the tax credits at or by texting HEALTH to 877877.

Last modified: March 16, 2011