More than three-quarters of private health-plan enrollees in Maryland Health Connection benefit from federal tax credits to lower the cost of their health insurance, and more than half of all enrollees receive additional “cost-sharing reductions” to lower their costs for health care services.
Of the 10 counties where enrollees received the highest percentage of tax credits to lower their insurance costs (80 percent of enrollees or higher), nine of them are on Maryland’s Eastern Shore or in far Western Maryland. The 10th is Prince George’s County.
That may help explain a recent study that ranked Maryland as fourth-best in the nation in health insurance gains in rural communities from 2013 to 2015, according to the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation.
The 78 percent of Maryland Health Connection customers who receive tax credits can choose to receive them monthly to lower their health insurance premium upfront (why they’re called “Advance Premium Tax Credits”) -- or take all or part of the credit when they file their federal tax return in the spring. Household size and income and some other factors affect whether a family is eligible for the tax credits.
About 56 percent of enrollees are eligible for additional savings beyond tax credits known as Cost-Sharing Reductions, also based on household size and income. That money, paid by the federal government to the insurance carriers, lowers the cost of copayments and deductibles for consumers who are eligible for these savings and enroll in a “silver” level plan.
In total, Maryland Health Connection enrollees receive nearly $400 million in federal tax credits and $100 million in additional cost-sharing reductions to lower their health insurance costs. That, in turn, has meant less uncompensated care at hospitals and improved access to medical care and earlier detection of illness.
|COUNTY||% RECEIVING ADVANCE PREMIUM TAX CREDITS (APTC)||% RECEIVING COST-SHARING REDUCTIONS (CSR)|
|COUNTY||AVERAGE OF ADVANCE PREMIUM TAX CREDITS PER HOUSEHOLD PER MONTH||AVERAGE OF ADDITIONAL COST-SHARING REDUCTIONS PER ELIGIBLE HOUSEHOLD PER MONTH|
About Maryland Health Connection
Maryland Health Connection is Maryland’s official health insurance marketplace for individuals and families to compare plans and enroll in health and dental coverage. It’s the only place to get financial help with health insurance. See if you qualify for financial help like tax credits or Medicaid/MCHP to make health insurance more affordable.