As part of the state’s overall response to the coronavirus, and in an effort to prioritize health and safety, Maryland Health Connection opened a new special enrollment period for uninsured Marylanders to enroll in a private health plan. Here’s what you need to know:
When your coverage begins
The coronavirus emergency special enrollment period will begin immediately and ends Monday, March 15. Here are the dates coverage will begin, depending on what day you enrolled in a health plan:
Enroll now-Jan. 15, coverage starts Jan.1
Enroll Jan. 16-Feb. 15, coverage starts Feb.1
Enroll Feb. 16-March 15, coverage starts March.1
How do I enroll?
To enroll, visit MarylandHealthConnection.gov or download the free “Enroll MHC” mobile app. Select “Coronavirus Emergency Special Enrollment Period.”
Governor Hogan and Maryland Health Connection Announce Record Enrollment for Health Coverage
ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today announced that more than 166,000 Marylanders enrolled in private health coverage for 2021 through Maryland Health Connection—the largest enrollment ever on the state’s health insurance marketplace—which represents a 4.5% increase of about 7,100 enrollees since the previous year.
“I am pleased to see so many Marylanders taking advantage of our state’s impressive health insurance marketplace, especially as we battle the COVID-19 pandemic, ” said Governor Hogan. “With one of the longest COVID-19 special enrollment periods in the country, we continue to work to increase healthcare access and affordability in Maryland.”
Back in June, Maryland's Insurance Dept. posted the preliminary 2021 rate requests for the individual and small group markets. At the time, carriers were seeking an average 4.8% premium reduction on the individual market and a 5.1% average increase for the small group market.
Back on March 10th, the Washington HealthPlanFinder became the first state-based ACA exchange/marketplace to formally create an official COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period, which was originally scheduled to have a deadline of April 8th.
Since that time, nearly every other state-based ACA exchange (all of them except for Idaho) has done likewise. Some of them required some sort of verbal or written attestation of thier eligibility status, while others didn't, but all of them were wide open to any uninsured resident who would normally be eligible to enroll during the official Open Enrollment Period.
The deadlines for the "open" COVID-19 SEP varied by state...but most of them ended up extending them out as that deadline approached. In some cases, they bumped it out again...and again...and yet again, as it became increasingly clear that the deadly pandemic isn't going away anytime soon.
NEARLY 58,000 MARYLANDERS GAIN HEALTH COVERAGE DURING TWO SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIODS
BALTIMORE, MD – A total of nearly 58,000 Marylanders enrolled in health coverage during Maryland Health Connection’s two special enrollment periods that began in February and March and ended Wednesday, July 15.
The Maryland Health Insurance Easy Enrollment program launched Feb. 26 as the first of its kind in the nation. The Comptroller of Maryland asked state tax filers to check a box on their state tax return if they lacked health insurance and desired that information to be shared with the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. Several states are in the process of looking at creating similar programs.
More than 41,000 filers checked the box
More than 3,700 enrolled as of July 13
Final numbers are pending, because tax filers had until the July 15 tax filing deadline to check the box on their state tax form, and will have several weeks to enroll.
TWO SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIODS FOR HEALTH INSURANCE END JULY 15
Nearly 53,000 residents have enrolled since mid-March
BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange announced it is entering the final week for Marylanders to enroll in health insurance coverage through the Coronavirus Emergency Special Enrollment Period and the Easy Enrollment Health Insurance Program. Maryland made the decision to re-open the Coronavirus Emergency Special Enrollment Period and extend the deadline in an effort to give more residents the opportunity to enroll. Both are set to end on July 15.
The deadline extension for the Coronavirus Special Enrollment Period comes as more than 49,000 residents have received coverage during this special enrollment period that began in March with Gov. Larry Hogan’s announcement of a State of Emergency in Maryland. Even before this extension, Maryland already offered one of the longest special enrollment periods in the country since the emergency began.
CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JULY 15
More than 43,000 have enrolled since mid-March
The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange announced today that it has extended the deadline of its Coronavirus Emergency Special Enrollment Period so that uninsured residents will have until July 15 to enroll in health coverage through Maryland Health Connection, the state’s health insurance marketplace.
The deadline extension comes as more than 43,000 residents have received coverage during this special enrollment period that began in March with Gov. Larry Hogan’s announcement of a State of Emergency in Maryland. Even before this extension, Maryland already offered one of the longest special enrollment periods in the country since the emergency began.
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.
Health Carriers Propose Affordable Care Act (ACA) Premium Rates for 2021
BALTIMORE – Health carriers are seeking a range of changes to the premium rates they will charge consumers for plans sold in Maryland’s Individual Non-Medigap (INM) and Small Group (SG) markets in 2021.
The rates submitted for the INM market include the estimated impacts from the state-based reinsurance program (SBRP) enacted in 2019 via a 1332 State Innovation Waiver, approved by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
30,000+ MARYLANDERS HAVE ENROLLED DURING THE CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD
Remaining uninsured residents have less than a month to get marketplace coverage
BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange today reminded uninsured Marylanders that they have until June 15 to enroll in coverage through the state’s health insurance marketplace, Maryland Health Connection, under the Coronavirus Emergency Special Enrollment Period. As of May 15, nearly 31,000 residents across the state have taken advantage of this special enrollment period that began in March with Gov. Larry Hogan’s announcement of a State of Emergency in Maryland.
Note: I've been distracted by my county-level COVID19 tracking project for the past couple of weeks, so I'm posting a series of entries on various ACA/healthcare policy developments which I've missed along the way.
Back in 2016, many health insurers which had been losing money hand over fist on the ACA individual market (in spite of many making record profits in other divisions) decided to bail on the ACA market entirely. Of these, the biggest shocks to the system were Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealthcare, each of which pulled out of multiple states, and UHC bailing was the biggest blow of all:
MORE THAN 21,500 MARYLANDERS OBTAIN HEALTH COVERAGE THROUGH STATE SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIODS
Special Enrollments for Coronavirus Emergency, Tax Filers Allow Uninsured Additional Opportunities to Enroll Through Maryland Health Connection
BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange today announced that more than 21,500 residents have enrolled in coverage through the state’s health insurance marketplace, Maryland Health Connection. Earlier this month, the deadlines for both special enrollment periods were extended to accommodate growing health concerns as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the new tax filing deadline.
The coronavirus special enrollment period, which began a month ago and now runs through June 15, has resulted in more than 19,000 residents obtaining health coverage — 61 percent in Medicaid and the remainder in private insurance, with most of those qualifying for financial help to lower the cost of the plan.
I've written a LOT lately about the dozen state-based ACA exchanges which have implemented COVID-19-specific Special Enrollment Periods for uninsured residents...as well as the two ACA exchanges (Idaho's, which is state-based, and The Big One, HealthCare.Gov, which hosts 38 states) which haven't done so as of yet.
Given how much outrage there's been at the federal government for not opening up HC.gov to a COVID SEP (Idaho has somehow managed to escape notice for making the same decision) by practically every party (even the American Enterprise Institute, which isn't exactly a lefty organization, is calling for one), it's worth taking a look at the states which do have COVID SEPs open to anyone uninsured to see just how many people are actually taking advantage of them.