In Montgomery County, Maryland, officials are talking about ways to implement national health care reform so that more residents receive coverage.
The Maryland Reform Coordinating Council says, under national health care reform, the state will save $829 million over 10 years and cut the number of uninsured patients in half by the year 2017.
George Leventhal is a Montgomery County councilmember. He says national health care reform will allow the county to provide coverage to more uninsured residents.
"The county is seeking to get more of the very low income patients who are eligible for Medicaid, covered under Medicaid, so we can get them out of the county's network of care and serve other people at the county level," Leventhal says.
County Health Officer Dr. Ulder Tillman says, approximately 29,000 uninsured residents are under the age of 18. As of September 23rd, insurance companies can no longer turn away children with preexisting conditions.
"That means that we have children who are uninsured that are in the county program. As we identify them, they should be able to shift to those other opportunities for more comprehensive coverage," Tillman says.
Measures in the health care reform require the state to have a streamlined enrollment system for residents who are eligible for county programs and Medicaid.