Access to affordable health insurance makes it much easier to be healthy and whole. That is why our organization’s mission is to ensure that all Marylanders can access quality, affordable health care coverage. We have worked with our coalition and state agencies to fully implement and build on the Affordable Care Act to achieve near universal coverage.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a great success in Maryland. Over 400,000 individuals in the state have gained health insurance coverage since the ACA was implemented. We are very proud of the Members of the Maryland Congressional Delegation who helped block efforts to repeal this life-saving law. We must do everything we can to protect the ACA in Maryland and to build on this success to reach our goal of quality, affordable healthcare for all Maryland.
We are working to protect and build on healthcare in Maryland through the Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Commission.
Here is what we have accomplished in Maryland recently:
- In 2021 we were pleased that the Supreme Court again upheld the Affordable Care Act and worked closely with state agencies to improve access and affordability of coverage. As a result of our advocacy, the state approved $20M for a two year pilot of providing additional subsidies for low-income young adults starting November 2021. By getting more healthy young Marylanders into the risk pool, the state hopes to stabilize rates for Marylanders of all ages. Note: these targeted state-funded subsidies are complimentary to generous subsidies included in Biden-Harris American Relief Plan. The state also expanded on our Easy Enrollment program which helped enroll about 6,000 Marylanders into coverage during the public health emergency in 2020. The expansion involves adding a similar check box for coverage on the state’s unemployment forms.
- In 2020 we helped pass critical legislation to defend the ACA in Maryland. We are pleased that the General Assembly has enshrined key principles of the Affordable Care Act in Maryland law, and that that measure is becoming law without the Governor’s signature. This measure is urgently needed as the Trump administration and others seek to overturn the ACA in court, which could lead to the loss of insurance for people in Maryland and across the country. Should the ACA be overturned in court, its consumer protections could also be lost. Now we have a law on the books in Maryland to maintain these important consumer protections, including a ban on insurers discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions. We thank the lead sponsors on this measure, Senator Brian Feldman and Delegates Shane Pendergrass and Joseline Peña-Melnyk, for their leadership.
- In 2019 we helped pass legislation to create the Maryland Easy Enrollment Health Insurance Program. We thank the Maryland General Assembly for passing this measure and Senator Brian J. Feldman and Delegate Joseline A. Peña-Melnyk for being the lead sponsors. We thank Governor Hogan for signing it into law. Here’s how it works: Marylanders are asked on their state tax return if they had quality health coverage in the past year. If they answer no, they will be assisted in getting health coverage. They get the care they need while we shrink uncompensated care, holding down insurance costs for everyone. Click here to learn more about the Easy Enrollment program from the Maryland Health Connection!
- In 2018 we helped pass legislation to 1) create a reinsurance program to stabilize premiums on the individual market, 2) provide protections against proposed federal rules to expand substandard limited-duration plans and association health plans, and 3) compel the Health Insurance Coverage Protection Commission to study and report on creating a statewide individual mandate to replace the federal mandate that will no longer be effective starting in 2020 as well as the Basic Health Plan.
- In 2017 with our strong support, in 2017 the Maryland General Assembly created the Health Insurance Coverage Protection Commission which will monitor what happens in Washington and recommend how we can protect the health care of Marylanders. Our President, Vinny DeMarco, is a member of the Commission along with Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative Board Member and small business leader, Jamal Lee.
We at the Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition are championing an effort to preserve these gains and prevent repeal of the ACA. Join us—share your story about what the ACA means to you. Click here to share your story.