Open enrollment underway for MHC’s affordable health coverage
EASTON — Open enrollment is underway for Eastern Shore residents who are looking to obtain affordable health coverage through Maryland Health Connection, the state’s official health insurance marketplace.
Open enrollment for health and dental plans is available until Dec. 15. Individuals can visit www.marylandhealthconnection.gov to enroll or search for free or local help, download the Maryland Health Connection ap, or call 1-855-642-8572. The online application is available from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily.
The mobile app features a button that says get help and a GPS locator ,and one can find any one of the 1,800 consumer sisters around the state. There are navigators, producers, licensed producers, application counselors, local departments of health and department of social ser vices helping individuals for free. There is no cost to the individual to enroll in health insurance.
“We are up overall from last years enrollment, by about five percent, so we want to exceed that number,” said Executive Director of Maryland Health Benefit Exchange Michele Eberle. “Although we are trying to get the word out this is the first time in 20 years that premiums have been lowered, nine out of 10 people that come to the exchange for health insurance will receive financial assistance. So it’s a great year to get insured.”
The goal of Maryland Health Benefits Exchange is to make health coverage affordable and more accessible for Marylanders, and aim for all Marylanders to have the health coverage that is best for them. Nearly 154,000 Marylanders enrolled in qualified health plans for 2018.
According to the Mar yland Health Connection Data Report from Oct. 31, The enrollment distribution by county stated 1,217 Talbot County residents enrolled for health plans and 6,437 enrolled for Medicaid. Additional findings stated enrollment percentages based on race included 60 percent were white, 31 percent classified under other, 7 percent were African-American, 2 percent were Asian, and 3 percent were Hispanic.
This year, Maryland residents signing up for Affordable Care Act health insurance plans are seeing a 13 percent average price drop in 2019, which marks the first rate decrease since the enactment of the federal healthcare law in 2010.
“We had a real good last legislative session, it was a bipartisan effort to implement a reassurance program in the state of Maryland,” Eberle said. “So what that is allowing us to do is protect some of the highrisk enrollees and lower the rates for everyone. That is why this year for the first time in 20 years, individual market places has been reduced across the board.”
When applying, be sure to have Social Security numbers (or document numbers for legal immigrants), proof of citizenship or immigration status, tax returns for previous years, employer and income information (pay stubs, W-2 forms), policy numbers for any current health insurance, information about any job-related coverage you or someone in your household is eligible for and photo ID, if you’re applying in person. Eberle encourages consumers to start enrolling as soon as possible to get health benefits catered to an individuals or family needs.
Open enrollment is available through Dec. 15, and it is open to Eastern Shore residents looking to obtain health coverage through Maryland Health Connection.