The Checkup
8:10 am
Tue January 7, 2014

How Medicaid Expansion Will Shape Maryland Health Care

Credit Credit: a.adrian / Creative Commons

 

More than 110,000 Marylanders began getting their health coverage through Medicaid on January 1st. That’s almost six times the number of Marylanders who signed up for private coverage. On The Checkup, we talk about how Medicaid is changing health care in Maryland and other states.

As of December 28th, about 18,000 Marylanders had enrolled in private health insurance via the Maryland Health Connection, the state’s online marketplace for health insurance. That’s many fewer than state officials had hoped to have signed up by January 1st… problems with the marketplace’s website kept many from signing up.

But, a whole other group of people got health insurance on January 1st. and a lot more of them at that. More than 110,000 Marylanders were added to the Medicaid rolls. The state’s low-income health plan expanded to cover adults without dependent children, which were previously excluded.

With me to talk about what this means for health care in Maryland is Chuck Milligan, Deputy Secretary of Health Care Financing, and Medicaid Director at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. And, with us on the line from Boston, is Dr. Benjamin Sommers. He’s an Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Economics at the Harvard School of Public Health and has studied Medicaid expansion in other states.

You can read the study Dr. Benjamin Sommers' led looking at Medicaid expansion called, "Lessons from Early Medicaid Expansions Under Health Reform: Interviews with Medicaid Officials". You can learn more about his latest study on Medicaid expansion, released yesterday, here.

Produced by Matt Purdy.

Our series ‘The Checkup:  How Health Care Is Changing in Maryland’ is made possible by grants from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, the Baltimore Association of Health Underwriters, and HealthCare Access Maryland.