Maryland House passes federal health care reform implementation bill

(Photo: Jason White via Flickr)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland House of Delegates has approved a measure to further implement federal health-care reform in the state.

The House passed the bill with little debate on a 94-42 vote on Monday.

The measure creates a dedicated funding stream for the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, which is a new insurance market that will offer residents a choice of private health plans. The money will come from an existing 2 percent tax on insurance plans that are state regulated.

The bill also expands Medicaid eligibility to 133 percent of the federal poverty line, compared to the current 124 percent. And the legislation includes provisions to ease the transition for enrollees of the Maryland Health Insurance Plan into the exchange.

A similar bill is pending in the Senate.