National health care reform is expected to save Maryland $829 million during the next decade and provide health insurance coverage for nearly 350,000 people, according to The Baltimore Sun. This would reduce the number of uninsured individuals in Maryland by half.

About 14 percent of Maryland residents—or 700,000 people—currently are uninsured. That number is expected to drop to about 6.7 percent when national reform is implemented. The remaining uninsured will be illegal workers and those who choose not to be covered.

The state will save as increased federal funding replaces state spending for health care programs for those who can’t afford it. As more individuals obtain health insurance, the state expects to see declines in uncompensated care. With national health care reform, people will get coverage through health care exchanges, Medicaid or Medicare.

Many states are looking at how to implement health care reform. All states will receive federal funding, but the savings will vary depending on the number of uninsured in a state and what programs are in place, among other factors.

In the reform’s initial years, the savings will offset extra costs Maryland will face. However, because federal funding will decline over time, savings are expected to peak in 2019 and start to decrease in 2020.

Many national health care reform components do not take effect until 2014.