About 240,000 individuals in Maryland remain uninsured, local station WTOP
reported based on statements issued by state exchange officials May 16.
Approximately 405,000 uninsured Marylanders were qualified for private insurance and some form of subsidy when the federal exchanged was set up in 2013. Since then, the figure has dropped by 40%.
Notably, the estimates do not include those who qualify for Medicaid.
“With the help of many partners and sister state agencies, we’ve made sizable progress in reducing the number of uninsured Maryland families,” said Maryland Health Benefit Exchange executive director Carolyn Quattrocki in a statement. “And we have many plans in the works to enhance consumer assistance and make even greater progress in the coming open enrollment that begins Nov. 1.”
Data from the nonprofit State Health Access Data Assistance Center suggests that the highest concentrations of Marylanders eligible for health insurance can be found in more rural areas. Counties such as Carroll, Calvert and St. Mary were identified by the study. Parts of the Eastern Shore south of Cecil County were also outlined for their high concentration of uninsured residents.
The nonprofit stated that each of those identified areas has between 8,000 and 10,000 people that lack health insurance.
Efforts to get individuals living in rural areas to sign up for health insurance are underway, but as more areas become accustomed with the idea of getting policies, the exchange is finding it more difficult to discover other parts of the state it may have missed.
“It gets harder and harder every day,” said program director Mark Romaninsky of Seedco—a nonprofit that helps connect the state exchange with consumers in hard-to-reach areas of Maryland.
“How do you find those pockets of people?”