On Monday, the Maryland House of Delegates passed legislation that advances the implementation of the state’s healthcare exchange.
Legislators voted 93-43 to approve the Maryland Health Progress Act 2013, which details how the marketplace’s creation and operation will be funded, and expands public coverage.
“This will help many thousands of Marylanders get the health care they need and reduce the uncompensated care we all now pay for the hospitalization of the uninsured,” Vincent DeMarco, president of the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative, told The Washington Post.
The bill also proposes dismantling the Maryland Health Insurance Plan, which currently provides health insurance to residents who cannot access coverage because of a preexisting condition or other factor, Baltimore Business Journal reported. Supporters of the bill foresee the program becoming unnecessary when residents can purchase affordable coverage on the exchange.
The state Senate is set to vote on the legislation’s companion bill soon.
Maryland will partner with the federal government to run the exchange in 2014. Eventually, the state will take over the reigns and begin paying about $24 million in fiscal year 2015 to operate it, according to The Washington Post.