ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The House of Delegates has advanced a measure to expand Medicaid eligibility and create a funding stream for Maryland’s health benefit exchange as part of the federal health care overhaul.

The House gave the bill initial approval on Saturday. A vote is expected early next week.

The exchange is a new insurance market that will offer residents a choice of private health plans. The measure would pay the roughly $24 million cost in fiscal year 2015 by using money from an existing 2 percent tax on insurance plans.

The measure also expands Medicaid coverage to 133 percent of the federal poverty line, compared to the current 124 percent. The federal government is paying the entire cost of the expansion in the initial years and 90 percent after that.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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