During its 20-plus years of existence, the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative Education Fund (MCHIEF), a nonprofit advocacy organization, has worked to make quality, affordable health care available to Marylanders. During those two decades, the nonprofit advocacy organization’s efforts have helped cut the state’s uninsured residents rate from 15% to 6%.
Last year, the organization’s education fund claimed two major successes.
First, it championed the creation of a state Prescription Drug Affordability Board, which reviews the pricing for expensive drugs and sets an upper payment limit for the price of the drugs.
Since rising drug prices are the single greatest contributor to rising insurance premiums, making drugs more affordable is the health initiative’s primary focus. The new board is expected to save the state money and have an impact on public health and what Marylanders pay for the medications.
Second, MCHIEF lobbied successfully for the creation of the Maryland Easy Enrollment Health Insurance Program, which allows Marylanders without insurance to start the enrollment process by simply checking a box on their state income tax returns.
More than 18,000 Marylanders have already taken advantage of this option, which is expected to increase the amount of coverage and stabilize insurance premiums.
“We are honored to receive this award on behalf of the hundreds of organizations across the state that are working with us to expand access to quality, affordable health care, particularly at this moment in history,” said Vincent DeMarco, president of the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative.