The Maryland House approved a bill to allow immigrants to buy health insurance

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The Maryland House has voted for a measure to enable people to buy health insurance through the state’s health care exchange regardless of their immigration status, with the approval of a federal waiverANNAPOLIS, Md.
— The Maryland House approved a measure on Friday to enable people to buy health insurance through the state’s health care exchange regardless of their immigration status, with the approval of a federal waiver.
The House voted 101-34 for the bill, which now goes to the Senate, where similar legislation is under consideration.
The measure would require the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange to submit a federal waiver application by July 1, 2025, to implement the program.
The waiver is needed because of federal restrictions on undocumented immigrants using the marketplace.
Washington state received such a waiver from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in late 2022.
Maryland’s health care exchange was created during the 2011 legislative session to provide a marketplace for people and small businesses to purchase affordable health coverage.
Through the Maryland Health Connection, Maryland residents can shop for health insurance plans and compare rates.
Of the state’s remaining uninsured, about 256,000 of them are undocumented immigrants, Pena-Melnyk said.
She pointed out that undocumented immigrants who sign up for health insurance through the exchange work in the state, pay taxes in the state and will pay for the plans.

Notwithstanding their immigration status, Marylanders can now purchase health insurance through the state’s health care exchange thanks to a federal waiver that was approved by the Maryland House.

ANNAPOLIS, Md.— With the approval of a federal waiver, the Maryland House approved a bill on Friday that will allow anyone to purchase health insurance through the state’s health care exchange, regardless of their immigration status.

The bill was approved by the House 101–34 and now moves to the Senate, where related legislation is being discussed.

In order to carry out the program, the measure would mandate that the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange apply for a federal waiver by July 1, 2025. Federal prohibitions on undocumented immigrants using the marketplace necessitate the waiver. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services granted Washington State a waiver of this kind in late 2022. If a waiver is approved, the Maryland program could begin as early as 2026.

During the 2011 legislative session, Maryland established its health care exchange to offer a marketplace where individuals and small businesses could purchase reasonably priced health coverage. Marylanders have access to rate comparison shopping for health insurance plans via the Maryland Health Connection.

In the years since the federal Affordable Care Act established Maryland’s health exchange and expanded Medicaid, the state’s uninsured population has decreased by more than half, from approximately 756,000 to approximately 350,000, or roughly 6% of the total population, according to Del. Head of the House Committee on Government Operations and Health, Joseline Pena-Melnyk.

Approximately 256,000 of the remaining uninsured people in the state are undocumented immigrants, according to Pena-Melnyk. She emphasized that undocumented immigrants who enroll in health insurance through the exchange pay state taxes, work in the state, and are responsible for paying for the plans.

“It’s preventive medicine, which benefits everyone and is less expensive when done so. To emphasize the point, Pena-Melnyk uttered the words, “This is not free.

Yet Del. Republican Mark Fisher of Calvert County argued that people living in Maryland who are U. s. He asked why the state should provide non-citizens with access to health insurance through the state exchange, given that citizens frequently have to wait a long time for appointments with doctors.

The experience that we’re having throughout the state, and especially in Calvert County, is that “the term health equity is meaningless if you can’t get access to a doctor, absolutely nonsense,” Fisher said. “I just do not understand why people think that just because someone is an American citizen, they should line up behind people who are not. “.

Nonetheless, Pena-Melnyk claimed that the action would benefit everyone since those without health insurance often end up visiting emergency rooms, where the cost of care is higher.

Pena-Melnyk, a Democrat from Prince George’s County, stated during the debate on Friday, “It saves us a lot of money, because guess what? Hospitals spent anywhere between $120 million and $150 million in uncompensated care last year.” She also mentioned that Maryland has the longest wait times for ERs nationwide.

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