Health Care and the 2021 Session

As bills are introduced, we will provide bill numbers and links to the actual bill text.

This year, UULM-MD will continue to build on the strong support and foundation in MD which has increased the numbers of people on Medicaid and provided health insurance for those in need at lower costs and subsidies.  Since adoption of the ACA, MD has decreased the number of uninsured from 12% to 6%.   In 2020 there was a greater need for help from MD because of COVID-19, loss of jobs and no employer health insurance. Over 75,000 residents were added due to a special COVID enrollment.  

Legislative priorities for 2021 are: 

Veto Override - SB759/HB768-- Prescription Drug Affordability Board and Fund: This 2020 legislation was vetoed by the Governor and there will be a vote to override the veto in the 2021 session.   The bill would provide state funds while establishing a permanent revenue source for the Board. This legislation would have also accelerated the Board's plans to institute an assessment on pharmaceutical manufacturers and supply chain members.

Health Equity Resource Communities Initiative - HB 463 / SB 172 - This proposed legislation would provide services to underserved areas of the state.  It is modeled on 2012-2016 Health Enterprise Zones Program which increased access to health resources, improved residents’ health, reduced hospital admissions, and created cost savings. This program will address the poor health outcomes that contribute to racial, ethnic, and geographic health inequities which have been evident in the COVID-19 pandemic.  This program would be funded by a 1% increase on the alcohol tax.  A resolution from Health Care for All has gained over 200 supporting groups including UULM-MD and UU congregations.   

Easy Enrollment Program Program: This program is based on legislation we supported in 2018 to have a box on the income tax form for people to say they do not have health insurance.  A follow-up process was set up for those interested to determine if they are eligible for the Maryland Health Exchange.  A legislative study was conducted in 2020 which will lead to legislation to build on this model.  Residents who apply for unemployment would be connected to the Exchange if they wanted to be.  Also, subsidies could be provided for insurance if they were not eligible for Medicaid.  HB 1002 / SB 893 Unemployment - Insurance Revisions and Special Enrollment Period for Health Benefits contains a provision to include easy enrollment, and UULM-MD is supporting this provision.

For more information, please contact the Health Care Task Force Co-Chairs Betty McGarvie Crowley and Chris Hager at HealthCare@uulmmd.org​.

UULM  with Health Care Banner 1.11.20.jp
Subject
Bill Number
XFile Bill Number
Sponsor
Title
Status
Current Location
Priority
Position
Action
UULM-MD Summary
Easy Enrollment-Unemployment
HB1002
Delegate Charkoudian
Unemployment - Insurance Revisions and Special Enrollment Period for Health Benefits
Enacted under Article II, Section 17(b) of the Maryland Constitution - Chapter 49
X
Support
Contact your Delegate
As part of comprehensive revision of unemployment, would establish an easy enrollment process for applicants to obtain health insurance through the Maryland Health Exchange.
Easy Enrollment-Unemployment
SB0893
Senator Rosapepe
Unemployment - Insurance Revisions and Special Enrollment Period for Health Benefits
Enacted under Article II, Section 17(b) of the Maryland Constitution - Chapter 65
Governor (signature or veto)
X
Support
Contact your Senator on committee
As part of comprehensive revision of unemployment, would establish an easy enrollment process for applicants to obtain health insurance through the Maryland Health Exchange.
Health equity resource
HB0463
SB0172
Delegate Barron
Maryland Health Equity Resource Act
Passed Enrolled
Governor (signature or veto)
X
Support
Contact your Delegate on committee
Would require the Secretary of Health to designate certain areas as Health Equity Resource Communities to reduce health disparities, improve health outcomes, improve access to primary care, promote primary and secondary prevention services, and reduce health care costs and hospital admissions and readmissions. Would also authorize health care practitioners and community health workers in Health Equity Resource communities to receive state income tax credits and loan repayment assistance.
Health equity resource
SB0172
HB0463
Senator Hayes
Maryland Health Equity Resource Act
Returned Passed
Governor (signature or veto)
X
Support
Contact your Senator on committee
Would require the Secretary of Health to designate certain areas as Health Equity Resource Communities to reduce health disparities, improve health outcomes, improve access to primary care, promote primary and secondary prevention services, and reduce health care costs and hospital admissions and readmissions. Would also authorize health care practitioners and community health workers in Health Equity Resource communities to receive state income tax credits and loan repayment assistance.
Medical Debt Protection
HB0565
SB0514
Delegate Charkoudian
Health Facilities - Hospitals - Medical Debt Protection
Returned Passed
Governor (signature or veto)
X
Support
Medical Debt Protection
SB0514
HB0565
Senator Feldman
Health Facilities - Hospitals - Medical Debt Protection
Returned Passed
Governor (signature or veto)
X
Support
Young adult subsidies
HB0780
SB0729
Delegate Kerr
Maryland Health Benefit Exchange – State–Based Young Adult Health Insurance Subsidies Pilot Program
Returned Passed
Governor (signature or veto)
Support
Young adult subsidies
SB0729
HB0780
Senator Feldman
Maryland Health Benefit Exchange – State–Based Young Adult Health Insurance Subsidies Pilot Program
Returned Passed
Governor (signature or veto)
Support