ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) — A new Maryland subsidy will make health insurance more affordable for young adults ages 18 to 34.

Local officials and state lawmakers gathered on Thursday to highlight the new subsidy as Maryland’s open enrollment period begins Monday for the state’s health exchange.

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Legislation enacted by the Maryland General Assembly allocates $20 million a year for two years to bring down the cost of health insurance for people ages 18-34 with low and moderate incomes.

That age group continues to have higher uninsured rates. The new state financial assistance will bring down premium costs significantly for people in that age group.

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The measure sponsored by Sen. Brian Feldman and Del. Ken Kerr created a two-year pilot program offering premium assistance to people ages 18 to 34 who earn up to about $50,000, or those earning between 138% and 400% of the federal poverty level.

For example, a 28-year-old earning $30,000 a year could sign up for a gold health care plan in 2022 for as little as $1 a month for a plan that previously would have cost $70 a month.

People can check for potential plans online at marylandhealthconnection.gov.

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