Congratulations on a very successful legislative session! We are so grateful for your partnership in expanding access to quality affordable health care. Take a look at all that we have accomplished together during this unique legislative session:
- Funded the Prescription Drug Affordability Board. Overriding Governor Hogan’s veto, the Maryland General Assembly moved to fully fund the first-in-the nation commission to make expensive drugs more affordable for Marylanders.
- Increased state investment in communities with the greatest needs. The Health Equity Resource Communities Initiative was an Emergency bill to revive an intervention proven to improve health equity in Maryland. This creates $59M in new funding over the next five years for evidence-based, community-led efforts to improve health care access in disadvantaged communities.
- Won more affordable health insurance for low-income young adults. Thanks to new state-funded health insurance subsidies, uninsured Marylanders between the ages of 18-34 can access much more affordable coverage through the Maryland Health Connection. This pilot will last 2 years and is expected to stabilize premiums for Marylanders of all ages by attracting more healthy individuals to the health insurance risk pool.
- Streamlined health insurance enrollment for the unemployed. Expand Insurance Enrollment for the Unemployed: Uninsured Marylanders can now check a box on their state income taxes and on unemployment forms to allow these agencies to share pertinent information with the Maryland Health Connection for the purpose of enrolling into health care coverage. This builds on Maryland’s successful first-in-the-nation Easy Enrollment Health Insurance Program that connects people to health insurance when they file their state taxes.
All of these measures will improve health equity by making coverage and medications more affordable, making it easier to get enrolled, and investing resources where they are needed most. In addition to these bills which were a top priority for our organization, we were pleased to support our fellow advocates on other efforts to promote health equity which passed, including:
- Improving maternal health equity and outcomes by extending Medicaid eligibility a full 12 months post-delivery.
- Preserving access to telehealth, including audio-only remote access.
- Ensure state agencies collect data on race and ethnicity and operate under a health equity framework.
- Establish a state commission on health equity and standards for implicit bias training and data collection
- Require the Maryland Health Care Commission to publish a report card including racial and ethnic composition data.