Jay Fergusonjay@deepcreekvacations.com301-501-0420

New health tax credits to be a ‘game-changer’

Matthew Bieniek Cumberland Times-News

CUMBERLAND — Thousands of people in Allegany and Garrett County will be eligible for tax credits to help them purchase health insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

The program will begin open enrollment in October. The tax credits, which work like a premium subsidy, will begin in January 2014, said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, during a national conference call Tuesday.

“This is a game-changer, which will allow millions of uninsured people and families to obtain health care coverage,” said Pollack.

Those eligible for the tax credit won’t need to file a tax return to get reimbursed.

Once an individual chooses a policy, the credit will be calculated against the monthly premium payment and reduce the premium payment based on a sliding scale.

“Those who need help the most will get the most help,” said Pollack.

The federal government will pay the money directly to the insurance company.

In Allegany and Garrett counties, as many as 9,810 people will be able to take advantage of the tax credit, according to a study by Families USA called “Help is at Hand.”

Statewide, about 360,000 Marylanders will be eligible for the credits, Families USA said. Details of the application process aren’t available yet.

The credits are available for people who make up to four times the federal poverty limit.

“This reaches deeply into the middle class and moderate-income families,” Pollack said.

Important to note is that with some exceptions, the program is not available to those insured through their employer and for seniors who purchase supplemental Medicare insurance.

The reason for that is that most employers subsidize their employees’ rates and the federal government does not tax employers’ contributions, which technically are a form of income.

The program is available to people who already purchase insurance on their own if they meet the income guidelines, and those who are uninsured.

Pollack admitted implementation of the plan wouldn’t be completely smooth going.

“I don’t know of any new program that doesn’t have some glitches,” Pollack said. Critics have said the federal health care reform will drive up all health costs, and cause further affordability problems even for those with insurance.

Some individuals making up to $46,000 will be eligible for at least some tax credits.

A family of four, earning between $47,100 and $94,200, would also be eligible, even though they are making between 200 to 400 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Families USA estimates that 89 percent of Marylanders eligible for the tax credits will be employed.

In 2011, about 15 percent of Allegany County’s population under age 65 was uninsured and 22 percent of Garrett County’s population was uninsured, according to a Community Health Needs Assessment.

Maryland plans to set up its own health care exchange, which will have tiers of coverage plans available.

Other states are opting to let the federal government run their programs.

Families USA “is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans,” according to its website, which can be found at  http://www.familiesusa.org/.

For more information on Maryland’s health care exchange, visit: http://www.marylandhealthconnection.gov/.



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Jay Ferguson

Who I Am My name is Jay Ferguson, and I am a lifelong resident of the Deep Creek Lake area. I am also co-owner of the real estate side of Taylor Made. I have been in the real estate business for 21+ years now and I LOVE what I do! I have to say, my career really took off when I co-founded the real estate side of Taylor Made in 2014. Its been an amazing experience, building a real estate company from the ground up and achieving so much so quickly! In August 2016, we purchased Long & Foster Real Estate Deep Creek, where I had started my career in 2000. In 2018, we on-boarded virtually every agent from Coldwell Banker Deep Creek Realty as they closed up shop and the real estate family grew even more! We now have over 40 sales agents and have expanded to West Virginia and Pennsylvania, as well. Taylor Made is the #1 vacation rental company at Deep Creek with over 475 vacation rental homes, and over one hundred thousand yearly visitors. Its amazing what we have accomplished using the principles of honesty, teamwork and customer service! Personally, my wife Jessica and I enjoy traveling and especially spending time in the outdoors, hiking and exploring the many diverse areas that Garrett County is naturally blessed with. We have raised two wonderful children here, Kayleah (22) and Noah (13). In the summer, we love spending time on the water with friends & family and enjoying the lake life! We are both active in our church, our community & local school activities, and we fill our schedule with plenty of volunteer efforts. I currently serve on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity. I am proud to say that I was named Deep Creek Time’s Favorite ‘Community Champion’ in 2019. I was also named Garrett County Realtor of the Year in 2018-19, as well. I really enjoy promoting my hometown. I am very proud of the resort area that has developed over my lifetime and look forward to growing the area even more! Deep Creek Lake has been described as ‘The Lake Tahoe of the east', and I think that speaks volumes about the potential to own property here! Deep Creek Lake isn't really a town or city by itself; it's comprised of three towns: Oakland, Swanton & McHenry, Maryland. I am very passionate about my hometown and am impressed with how many people know about it as we travel around the country. Deep Creek Lake is an amazing place to visit and even better place to live! During the pandemic in 2020, our market exploded and more and more people left their primary residence in the city to live here permanently. With distance learning in schools and tele-commuting becoming the ‘norm’, many more people were drawn to the area to ‘live where they love to play’. Why You Want Me Working for You: In addition to being an owner, I am consistently one of the top-producing agents in the entire area and the Associate Broker of record for Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales. I have 21+ years of experience and I am a problem solver. There aren’t many situations that I have not encountered and I have a strategy for almost every scenario that you may encounter. I have extensively trained in all areas of real estate & emerging technologies, and also have trained as an appraiser, as well as served as a full-time Broker. I have a strong knowledge of the industry, as well as many trusted local contacts & affiliations that allow me to perform at a very high level and deliver results. I have a great deal of respect for my peers in this industry and have strong working relationships that I would love to put to work for you. Call me to discuss your situation - I know I can be of great service to you & others you care about! Honesty. Integrity. Results.