Maryland Health Insurance
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signed House Bill 166 into law in April 2011, which established the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. State residents can now use MarylandHealthConnection.gov to apply for medical coverage during open enrollment. Maryland is also one of 27 states including Washington, D.C., that expanded Medicaid coverage in 2014.
Once you register for an account and complete the registration process, you can research private marketplace plans or determine if you qualify for public health insurance such as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, called CHIP.
You’ll also find out if you qualify for tax credits to help offset the cost of private coverage. These tax credits come in the form of subsidies you can immediately apply to the cost of health plans purchased on the marketplace.
Do you qualify for a Maryland health insurance subsidy?
According to a January 2014 Kaiser Family Foundation profile of Maryland, 59 percent of the non-elderly uninsured population now qualify for some type of assistance paying for medical plans under the Affordable Care Act.
The three main options are through premium subsidies for marketplace plans, Medicaid and CHIP.
- Eligibility for subsidies will typically be based on 2013 poverty level limits, and Medicare and CHIP qualification will typically be based on 2014 limits.
- The ACA offers tax credits to pay for qualified marketplace plans for people who earn between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level and do not have access to other sources of affordable coverage such as an employer-sponsored plan. This is between $23,550 and $94,200 for a family of four and between $11,490 and $45,960 for an individual.
- Maryland adults who earn less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $32,915 for a family of four, might qualify for Medicaid instead of premium subsidies.
- Children from Maryland families who earn less than 322 percent of the poverty level, or about $76,800 for a family of four, might qualify for CHIP.
If you do not qualify for financial assistance, you can still purchase health insurance though the Maryland Health Connection. Qualifying insurance plans must provide minimum benefits, and insurers are not allowed to decline applicants based on pre-existing health conditions.
Companies with ACA-qualified medical plans in the state include:
- All Savers Insurance
- CareFirst BlueChoice
- CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maryland
- Evergreen Health Cooperative
- Group Hospitalization and Medical Services
- Kaiser Foundation Health Plan
Maryland health and coverage statistics
Maryland population (2013): 5,928,814
Population 65 and older (2012): 13 percent
Life expectancy (2010): 78.8 years
Number of Medicaid beneficiaries (2012): 706,500
Number of Medicare beneficiaries (2012): 713,200
Estimated number of uninsured residents (2012): 767,500
Overall state health ranking (2014): 24
Sources: Kaiser Family Foundation, U.S. Census Bureau, America’s Health Rankings 2014 report.
Maryland health insurance resources
Maryland Health Connection (Maryland’s health marketplace): http://marylandhealthconnection.gov/
Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: http://dhmh.maryland.gov/SitePages/Home.aspx