Health Insurance | WYPR

Health Insurance

Rachel Baye

Members of the Maryland General Assembly are rushing to meet a legislative deadline Monday, which is known as Crossover Day in Annapolis. Any bills that have not passed in one chamber and “crossed over” to the other by the end of the day will face an additional hurdle and are less likely to become law this year.

This is the latest on some of the issues lawmakers are grappling with this year.

Minimum Wage

Rachel Baye

The Maryland General Assembly begins its annual 90-day session Wednesday in Annapolis, and reducing violent crime in Baltimore is at the top of political leaders’ agendas.

Creative Commons

Health insurance premiums on plans in Maryland’s individual insurance market decreased this year as a result of a reinsurance fund state lawmakers approved last year, but the fund only has enough money to last a few years.

To keep premiums down over the long term, state lawmakers who return to Annapolis next week are considering a new health insurance mandate and a fine for anyone who lacks insurance.

The proposal is similar to the federal Affordable Care Act’s “individual mandate” that Congress repealed late in 2017, but there’s a big difference:  Maryland taxpayers would be able to treat the fine as a down payment on a health insurance plan.

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Two-and-a-half weeks before the deadline for enrolling in health insurance, we look at changes affecting what Marylanders will pay. Lara D. Wilson, Executive Director of the Maryland Rural Health Association, describes challenges and resources for the one-fourth of Marylanders who live in rural counties. And Andrew Ratner, Chief of Staff at the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, explains how the state’s ‘reinsurance’ program has led to lower premiums.

Access the Maryland Rural Health Association here.

Access the Maryland Health Connection to purchase health insurance, here.

There are enrollment events happening around the state to purchase health insurance on site. Find that information here.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

During the last General Assembly session, lawmakers created a temporary fix to stabilize Maryland’s Obamacare exchange after Congress repealed the individual mandate to buy health insurance. Now, the Democratic gubernatorial candidates are backing what they say would be a permanent fix.

Healthcare for the Homeless

Jeff Garrett had a nice life.  Married, two kids, he and his wife both worked, and his job gave him the flexibility to be at home with his children. Hardly the portrait of a man on the brink of homelessness.  And yet, in remarkably short order, Jeff found himself divorced, separated from his kids, penniless, evicted, mentally unstable, and contemplating suicide.  Jeff’s story opens the door on a conversation about mental health and homelessness.  What are the safety nets, and what happens when they fail?  What’s the emotional and physical toll of homelessness?  And what’s our collective responsibility as a society when it comes to helping the most vulnerable among us? This month on Life in the Balance, understanding, and coping with, homelessness. 

Maryland Health Connection

If Congress repeals or stops enforcing the individual mandate and Maryland doesn’t change anything about the way its insurance market works, state residents will feel the effects quickly, health care experts warned a state commission Tuesday.

“If we don’t act next year, it’s very likely we won’t have an individual market in 2019 in Maryland,” said Deb Rivkin, Vice President of Government Affairs for Maryland at Carefirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, the state’s largest health insurer.

Sen. Ben Cardin said he is optimistic about a possible bipartisan health care bill. He made the comments on Friday while speaking with WYPR’s Tom Hall on Midday.

TEDxBaltimore / Flickr / Creative Commons

Evergreen Health is no longer allowed to sell insurance on Maryland’s individual health insurance market as a result of the insurer’s "financially hazardous condition," state Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer said in an administrative order Thursday.

Rachel Baye

Sixty-four-year old Johnnie Davis has been treating his heroin addiction at the Bon Secours New Hope Treatment Center in West Baltimore for nearly 20 years.

“When I came here, I didn’t have no insurance,” he said. “And if I wasn’t here, I could imagine where my life would have turned because I was known for drugs — selling drugs.”

Rachel Baye

As Congress debates cutting access to Planned Parenthood for Medicaid recipients, Maryland’s legislative leaders are pushing a plan to replace the lost funding, which they estimate would be about $2.7 million a year.

A local DREAMer and her family fight to stay healthy

Jun 28, 2016
Mary Wiltenburg

Some days, in the busy East Baltimore insurance agency where she works, saleswoman Nathaly Uribe takes nonstop calls from members of the city’s Latino community, looking to buy home and car protection plans. It’s an unspoken irony that the women in her office, who spend eight hours a day insuring others, don’t have health insurance themselves.