Pew Charitable Trusts
November 16, 2021
By: Michael Ollove


Maryland and Massachusetts, soon to be followed by other states, now allow taxpayers to begin the sign-up for health care coverage on their tax returns, aiming to draw many residents into low- or no-cost plans they may not know they qualify for.

The effort is intended to gather in many of the last Americans—more than 28 million of them—still without health insurance, despite the gains achieved by the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

A quarter of those people are eligible for Medicaid, the public health plan for low-income Americans, according to an analysis of the uninsured by the Kaiser Family Foundation. And more than a third could get federal tax subsidies to help them pay for at least part of the premiums for private plans.

“As surprising as it may seem, there are many people out there who don’t know there are insurance options for them,” said Michele Eberle, executive director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, a state agency that helps enroll residents. “People are just surviving out there. They don’t know what’s available to them.”

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Last modified: May 3, 2022