What You Need to Know About Maryland Health Care

by: Vincent DeMarco Special to the AFRO
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Health care can be confusing, especially with all of the conflicting information being circulated at the federal level. Yet Marylanders can rest assured that in our state we remain committed to upholding the promise of the Affordable Care Act and are continuing to implement and improve upon the law.

Maryland’s uninsured rate is half of what it was prior to 2010, and we are among the best in the nation for young adult enrollments. This year, under the direction of Dr. Howard Haft and now Michele Eberle, total enrollments in the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange are up 10% compared to last year, and first-time enrollments are up by 15%.

Vincent DeMarco, President, Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative

Need health care? Here is what you need to know:

  • Open enrollment in the Maryland Health Connection, the state’s public health insurance marketplace, is taking place now through Dec. 15. The open enrollment period is shorter this year compared to those of the past so do not delay. This applies for all plans except Medicaid, which is open all year.
  • Free, in-person, help is available during the open enrollment period. Trained professionals can help you decide which plans will best meet your health care needs and your budget. This year it’s more critical than ever to shop around before you sign up.
  • Financial help is available. Last year, 9 out of 10 Marylanders who enrolled in coverage through the Maryland Health Connection qualified for financial assistance to help them afford that plan.
  • The Maryland Health Connection offers high-quality health plans at a variety of price points. All plans sold on the Exchange are required to cover a package of Essential Health Benefits dictated in the Affordable Care Act including emergency room care, primary care and more.
  • There is a significant financial penalty at tax time for not having qualifying coverage. Take advantage of these resources to avoid the penalty and gain access to high quality, affordable health insurance today.

For more information, go to marylandhealthconnection.gov or call toll-free 1-855-642-8572.

Vincent DeMarco is the president of the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative, the state’s largest health care consumer coalition with over 1200 diverse organizational members, including religious, health, community, labor, and business groups from across the state.

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