Maryland: Nearly 40K have enrolled via #COVID19 SEP so far (26K Medicaid, 14K #ACA exchange)
NEARLY 40,000 MARYLANDERS HAVE ENROLLED DURING CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD
- Less than a week left for uninsured residents to get marketplace coverage
BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange today is urging uninsured Marylanders to enroll in coverage before the June 15 deadline through the state’s health insurance marketplace, Maryland Health Connection, under the Coronavirus Emergency Special Enrollment Period. To date, nearly 40,000 residents have received health coverage during this special enrollment period that began in March with Gov. Larry Hogan’s announcement of a State of Emergency in Maryland.
Individuals who enroll in health coverage through Maryland Health Connection today through June 15 will have a coverage start date of June 1. Of the nearly 40,000 residents who’ve already obtained health coverage through Maryland Health Connection during this special enrollment, 65 percent received Medicaid, while the remainder enrolled in private insurance.
That's a breakout of roughly 26,000 on Medicaid (which you can enroll in year-round anyway), and around 14,000 in ACA exchange policies.
“During this time of heightened awareness of the need for health coverage due to the coronavirus and loss of job-based coverage, Maryland Health Connection is offering options for free and low-cost health insurance,” says Michele Eberle, executive director of Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. “Please reach out to your friends, families and communities to let them know coverage is available. The deadline is approaching quickly, but with your help we can work together to ensure every person has the coverage they need.”
While you do not have to be sick to seek coverage, it’s worth noting that health insurance companies on Maryland Health Connection cover testing, visits relating to testing, and treatment of COVID-19. These consumers will not be billed for a copay, coinsurance or deductible for services to test, diagnose and treat COVID-19.
As the state faces record levels of unemployment, many Marylanders are losing health coverage offered by employers. Individuals who lose coverage through their jobs have 60 days from loss of coverage to enroll. If they’ve missed that deadline, they can get coverage through Maryland Health Connection’s Coronavirus Special Enrollment Period through June 15.
An additional special enrollment for Maryland tax filers runs through July 15. The Maryland Easy Enrollment Health Insurance Program gives tax filers the option to share information, like household size and income, with the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange to see if they are eligible for free or low-cost health insurance. Those who check the box on state tax forms (502 and 502B) will receive a letter from Maryland Health Benefit Exchange to let them know if they are eligible for free or low-cost health coverage. To date, more than 4,000 Marylanders have enrolled in health insurance under this program.
I'm assuming this is in addition to those utilizing the COVID19 SEP. If so, while this falls far short of the potential maximum number of Maryland residents who could theoretically #GetCovered via the new "EZ Enrollment" law, it's still a pretty good start, seeing how it doesn't cost the state very much to offer it (plus, it's likely that some of the 40K who enrolled via the COVID SEP would have utilized the EZ option instead anyway).
To enroll, visit MarylandHealthConnection.gov. Individuals also can download the free “Enroll MHC” mobile app. Free consumer assistance is available by calling 855-642-8572 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.
Help is available in more than 200 languages through the call center, as well as Relay service for the deaf and hard of hearing. Trained navigators and brokers statewide offer free help enrolling by phone. You can find information at MarylandHealthConnection.gov.
Last year, nine out of 10 Marylanders who enrolled through Maryland Health Connection were eligible for free coverage or financial help to lower the cost of their health insurance. This special enrollment period is for private health plans. Those who qualify for Medicaid may enroll any time of year.