“Less than three fine coffee drinks”: new program offers low-cost health insurance to young adults

Starting Monday, young adults in Maryland can enroll in a health insurance program through the state’s public health benefits exchange platform for as little as $ 1 per month.

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Starting Monday, young adults in Maryland can enroll in a health insurance program through the state’s public health benefits exchange platform for as little as $ 1 per month.

“This is the year to get coverage,” Michele Eberle, executive director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, said at a press conference Thursday announcing the launch of the Young Adult Health Insurance Grants Pilot Program. “It will cost you less than three fine coffee drinks for the whole year.”

The program, co-sponsored by the Deputy Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Brian J. Feldman (D-Montgomery) and Del. Kenneth P. Kerr (D-Frederick) in the 2021 legislative session aims to reduce the amount young people pay. for insurance through the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange.

In 2022 and 2023, $ 20 million in excess funding from the state’s reinsurance program will be used to allow low-income adults aged 18 to 34 earning up to 400% of the federal poverty line to receive insurance. illness for as little as $ 1 per month.

Feldman said that “if it works,” he would like the program to continue beyond the two years provided by law.

Montgomery County Director Marc B. Elrich (D) said Thursday that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults between the ages of 18 and 34 have the highest uninsurance rate in the United States. United.

“I think people have… this idea that health care is unaffordable and expensive – a lot of people don’t even try [to get insured]”Elrich said.” We have to let people know it’s worth a try; these grants make it absolutely affordable for people.

Harford County Director Barry Glassman (R) stressed that access to health care is “a non-partisan issue”.

“As the only Republican in the Big Eight Counties… I want to be a voice for everyone to sign up [and] access this care throughout Maryland, ”he said.

Prince George County Director Angela Alsobrooks (D) echoed Glassman’s bipartisan message “because we care about all Marylanders,” she said.

“Our work is not limited to our borders,” Alsobrooks continued. “Healthcare is absolutely a right – it’s not a privilege – and one of the things we’ve been able to see so clearly, especially during the pandemic, is that it’s so powerful when we come together. how much we can accomplish. “

Alsobrooks also recognized that more health insurance coverage means lower premiums for everyone.

“The higher health insurance coverage rates in Frederick, Anne Arundel and Harford counties benefit us all and make us a stronger, healthier state,” she said. “So during this open enrollment period… we want everyone to take advantage and get this affordable health insurance – help us build a stronger, healthier Maryland so that our state can serve as a role model for the rest of the world. country.”


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