Need health insurance? Marylanders can now check a box on their income taxes to begin enrollment | COMMENTARY

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Tax-filing season is here. It’s not usually a time to celebrate, but this year, there’s a new feature that thousands of state taxpayers may find beneficial.

This tax season marks the beginning of the Maryland Easy Enrollment Health Insurance Program, thanks to legislation passed by the General Assembly last year. This innovative new program lets people without health insurance simply check a box on their state income tax return to start the process of enrolling in a health plan.

Once a tax filer checks that box, the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange will determine their eligibility for Medicaid and for free or low-cost private insurance. This year, people will get a letter saying whether they qualify for insurance, with instructions about how to complete their enrollment. Starting next year, a more streamlined and automatic process will apply.

This new program will make it easy for uninsured Marylanders to learn whether they qualify for affordable insurance and then to enroll. This should reach people throughout Maryland who don’t yet know how much help they can get under the Affordable Care Act. Before long, thousands will have coverage — and the peace of mind that comes with more affordable health care.


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