Maryland Uninsured Residents Eligible For Medicaid, SCHIP To Receive Letters

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Maryland health officials this summer willsend letters to tens of thousands of state residents notifying them that familymembers might be eligible for state and federal health insurance programs, the Baltimore Sun reports. The General Assemblyearlier this month passed legislation ordering the state Office of the Comptroller to review state tax information toidentify residents who could qualify for the programs and notify theirfamilies.

One mailing would target residents who will be newly eligible for Medicaidunder expanded eligibility rules approved by the Maryland General Assembly. StartingJuly 1, people with incomes up to 116% of the federal poverty level will beeligible for the program. The other letter would inform residents that familymembers are eligible for SCHIP or other federal programs. According to JoeSchapiro, a spokesperson for state Comptroller Peter Franchot, the state is notsure how many letters will be sent. Marylandhas an estimated 750,000 uninsured residents.

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The initiative was inspired by a Howard County, Md., program, in which thecomptroller sent out 21,000 letters, that was successful in finding andenrolling uninsured children.

Deputy State Health Secretary John Folkemer said rules issued by the Bushadministration that limit SCHIP eligibility to children in families withincomes greater than 200% of the poverty level would not cause the state tostop efforts to enroll children in families with incomes up to 300% because therules are being challenged by a lawsuit and congressional legislation (Carson,Baltimore Sun, 4/16).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health PolicyReport is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation.

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