ANNAPOLIS, MD (AP) – Maryland officials and advocates are highlighting a state program that enables residents to begin signing up for health insurance by checking a box on their state tax return. Maryland became the first state in the nation in 2019 to establish a tax-based easy enrollment program. On state income tax forms, filers are asked if they have health insurance. If not, they can agree to have the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange inform them about their likely eligibility for low-cost or free health insurance. The exchange then follows up with information about how to enroll. Nine other states have started similar programs after Maryland’s.