During 2001 and 2002, researchers at The Johns Hopkins University analyzed state health insurance reform policy options for achieving universal coverage in Maryland. The research team incorporated their work into a proposal for health reform to be presented to the Maryland state legislature.
The proposal, entitled A Proposed Plan for Universal Health Insurance Coverage in the State of Maryland, called for a two-phase "Health Care for All" plan:
- Phase 1, a voluntary program offering quality, affordable health insurance to all Maryland citizens currently without health insurance, includes:
- Providing health care for all uninsured children by expanding the Maryland Children's Health Program (MCHP), which provides comprehensive benefits.
- Giving children and the poor better access to providers by enhancing provider reimbursement rates for the Medicaid/MCHP programs.
- Helping seniors and others afford their prescription drugs by establishing a public negotiating pool for prescription drugs purchased in Maryland.
- Providing health care for all uninsured adults through a new, quasi-public insurer, the Maryland Healthcare Trust.
- Phase 2, still under development, requires all Maryland citizens to have health care coverage through private insurance, some existing governmental insurance program or the Maryland Healthcare Trust.