HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care market intelligence, reports that Maryland's Medicaid managed care organizations stand to gain as many as 100,000 additional members as a result of the state's newly enacted healthcare law. According to the latest Mid-Atlantic Health Plan Analysis, the state passed a plan to expand Medicaid eligibility limits and extend subsidies to about 5,500 small business owners and their employees to offset the cost of insurance.
"The Working Families and Small Business Health Coverage Act will expand Medicaid to eventually cover another 100,000 uninsured Marylanders and will be phased in over the next four years," states Jan Shuxteau, analyst for HealthLeaders-InterStudy and author of the report.
Under the new plan, Medicaid coverage would first expand to about 30,000 parents with incomes of less than 116 percent of the federal poverty level, and then take in adults without children whose income is 40 percent of the federal poverty level. Expansion will not begin until July 1, 2008, the beginning of the 2009 fiscal year, at the earliest.
In the small business program, taxpayer dollars would provide a $1,000 insurance subsidy to employees earning less than $50,000 at businesses with up to nine workers that do not offer benefits. Non-insuring businesses would receive a $1,000 subsidy for offering insurance and small businesses that offer minimal coverage would receive a subsidy to help them afford it. To prevent employees and employers from dumping their current insurance, the subsidy will not be available to employees who already have or have had access to insurance within a year.
The Mid-Atlantic Health Plan Analysis report also includes health plan news and commentary for the state of Virginia and Washington, D.C.
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