Maryland Gov. O'Malley Touts Small Business Insurance Program

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown and John M. Colmers, secretary of Maryland's Health and Mental Hygiene Department, met with small-business owners in Montgomery County yesterday to spread the word about the state's $15 million Health Insurance Partnership program that helps small businesses offer insurance to their employees, Post staffer Lori Aratani reports today.

The Small Business blog wrote about the program back in July, when it was approved by the state. It was officially launched this fall.

Similar programs have launched in other states, but Maryland's program is unique because it allows a business to offer private coverage.

Under the program, Maryland subsidizes the cost of providing insurance to employees who make less than $50,000 a year at businesses that have two to nine employees. Sixty companies have signed on to the statewide program so far, Aratani reports. The state expects about 1,500 firms to participate in the program, which is capped at $15 million.

There are about 64,000 firms in the state with fewer than 10 employees; about 37,000 of those firms do not offer insurance. "The extent that we can bring down the number of uninsured brings down the cost for everyone,'' O'Malley said.

More details on the program are available here.

By Sharon McLoone |  November 7, 2008; 11:37 AM ET Health Care
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