GRAHAM-CASSIDY REPEAL BILL DEADLINE:

Time: D H M S

CONFIDENCE: Maryland launches open enrollment 1 day early (yes, that's correct)

We're launching online enrollment a day ahead of schedule. Enroll now at http://t.co/GpASXdzZeZ for quality, affordable 2015 health coverage

— MD Health Connection (@MarylandConnect) November 18, 2014

Yes, I know what you're saying: This is either a joke or a typo; how could Maryland be launching open enrollment a day early when 2015 #OE2 actually started 3 days ago?? Shouldn't that read "3 days late"?

Well, no, actually. As I noted back in September, due to the horrible technical problems which the MD Health Connection had with their original platform last year, they wisely decided to be extremely cautious this time around with their all-new software.

In short, instead of opening the floodgates all at once on the 15th, MD decided to take a phased approach:

  • Nov. 15 -- The first HealthConnectNow! sign-up event will be held. About 25 sign-up events are being scheduled throughout Maryland -- four times the number held during the first open enrollment. Details about times, dates and locations will be announced in the coming weeks.
  • Nov. 16 -- The call center opens to take phone applications at 855-642-8572 (TTY 855-642- 8573).
  • Nov. 17 -- All authorized insurance brokers (producers) and navigators are able to complete enrollments through the website and also provide in-person consumer assistance.
  • Nov. 18 – All caseworkers at local health departments and departments of social services begin enrolling consumers through the website. Medicaid applications (currently completed through SAIL) will be directed through MarylandHealthConnection.gov.
  • Nov. 19 -- Self-service enrollment through the website becomes available for the first time to the general public and all other stakeholders. 

In other words, the general public has not been able to enroll at home until now...making it all the more impressive that they managed to enroll 1,500 people on the first day anyway.

More to the point, the fact that they've decided to bump that last step up a day is a sign that Maryland is very confident in the new platform working smoothly. Good for them!