Ben Cardin - Senator for Maryland

Health Care

I am proud of my work to ensure that affordable, quality health insurance coverage will now be a right and not a privilege for every American across the country.  The Affordable Care Act that Congress enacted into law in 2010 moves us significantly closer to our goals of decreasing costs, providing coverage to all Americans and reducing our budget deficit.

Americans are already enjoying the numerous benefits that this legislation provides, including tax credits for small businesses so they can afford quality health insurance for their employees.  It also contains important consumer protections to help all American families, including prohibiting insurance companies from dropping coverage when people get sick.  It is vital that we safeguard these important reforms as we move forward in improving our health care system.    

As a member of the Senate Finance Committee in the 113th Congress, I will continue my efforts to extend health care accessibility and rein in costs, which will enable America to be more competitive in the global economy.  I will also promote life-saving preventive services and research, and initiatives to erase disparities in minority health.  I am proud of Maryland’s tradition of high quality medical care, and I will work hard to ensure that the highest quality health care is available to people nationwide.   

Key Facts

  • Maryland is home to top-ranking academic medical centers Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland, and to the National Institutes of Health.
  • To date, Maryland has received $69.5 Million from the Affordable Care Act to hold down insurance premiums, build competitive insurance marketplaces, provide insurance to early retirees, and strengthen their public health and prevention efforts.
  • The Affordable Care Act will save Maryland $850 million and cut the number of Marylanders living without health insurance in half by 2020.
  • The health care reform law provides $40 billion of tax credits to up to 4 million small businesses, including up to 76,794 in Maryland to help offset the costs of purchasing coverage for their employees and makes premiums more affordable.
  • Maryland’s health care sector is projected to grow by more than 20 percent by 2018, when it will employ a projected 264,000 people in the state.
  • Maryland has the best rate in the country of primary care physicians for the population, with 17.68 physicians per 10,000 residents.
  • 32,000 kids in Maryland will be protected by an Affordable Care Act provision that bans insurers from denying coverage to children because of pre-existing conditions.
  • The Affordable Care Act bans insurance companies from imposing lifetime dollar limits on health benefits, which protects the 3.7 million Maryland residents who have private insurance plans.  


I'm a Medicare beneficiary.  Could I possibly qualify for extra assistance in paying for prescription drugs?                    

Some Medicare beneficiaries do qualify for additional assistance with their prescription drug costs. If you are eligible, you would pay no more than $2.50 for generic drugs and $6.30 for each brand name drug. Click HERE to see if you qualify for the Medicare Low-Income Subsidy Program, or call 1-800-772-1213.

How do I find the health insurance plan that’s right for me?
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website offers a free tool to help you find the affordable coverage you need, regardless of your circumstance.  The tool finds private, public, and community programs in Maryland.  To access the site, click HERE.  
How does health care reform protect me and my family from insurance company abuses?
The health care reform law’s Patient’s Bill of Rights puts critical consumer protections in place that empower consumers and keep insurance companies from getting between you and your doctor.  These protections will prohibit insurers from dropping coverage when you get sick, or placing annual or lifetime limits on benefits, among others.  Read attached Patient’s Bill of Rights for more information.
How does health care reform help my small business?
Under the new health reform law, small businesses will see their health care costs decline and will finally be able afford the coverage they want to offer their workers.  For more information on how health care reform helps small businesses succeed, read the attached document.  
How will Maryland benefit from health care reform?
The Affordable Care Act helps ensure that all Marylanders have access to quality, affordable health insurance.  It will reduce the cost of health care for the middle class, ensure health security to seniors, and provide tax credits to small businesses and individuals to further reduce the cost of health coverage in Maryland.  Click HERE to read more about how health care reform is helping Maryland.  
How will the health care reform law help improve access and eliminate health disparities across races?
The new law transfers the Office of Minority Health to the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to be headed by the Deputy Secretary for Minority Health. The Office will work to improve minority health and the quality of health care minorities receive, and eliminate racial and ethnic disparities.  For more information, read the attached document.  
What does reform mean for …
The Affordable Care Act ensures quality preventative care and makes healthcare more affordable for seniors.  Seniors benefit from free wellness exams, discounts on brand-name prescription drugs and 50% discount on brand-name prescription drugs for those who fall in the Medicare Part D prescription drug gap or so-called “donut hole.”  For more details on how health care reform helps seniors, click HERE.
Medicare beneficiaries can read more about what health care reform means for them by reading the attached document.  
Young Adults?
Young adults have the highest rate of uninsured of any age group, but The Affordable Care Act now allows young adults to stay on their parents’ health care plan until age 26.  For more information, click HERE.  
Families with children?
Many hardworking families have difficulty finding affordable health insurance, but health care reform law helps families find the care they need to stay healthy.  Please click HERE for more.  
The Department of Defense reassured service members and their families that TRICARE upholds the health care reform law’s quality and minimum benefit standards.  For more information on how our troops, retirees and their families will continue to receive the best quality health care, click HERE.
Women have unique health care needs, and the health care reform law takes those into account.  Previously, insurers could refuse to cover women due to pre-existing conditions, such as cancer and having been pregnant.  The Affordable Care Act ends these discriminatory practices.  For more on the important benefits for women that this law puts in place, click HERE.  
People with disabilities?
If you have a disability The Affordable Care Act gives you more affordable options for health coverage that will cover your needs.  Click HERE for more information.
Newsletter Sign-up