Open enrollment in the Maryland Health Care Exchange begins Nov. 1, with the deadline to sign up set for Dec. 15, and residents have several options to get educated and signed up.
To encourage residents to learn about their coverage options, explore the market, and sign up, the Maryland Health Connection will begin airing ads on TV, radio, online, billboards, and in print, theaters and supermarkets called "Think Again." The messaging will focus on the market's lower rates in 2019, and the free, expert advise available to people looking to enroll.
Plans will kick in on Jan. 1, 2019. Those who are covered by Medicaid will be notified to renew and can do so year round. Fall open enrollment is strictly for qualified health plans.
There are many ways to enroll, with the primary resource being the Maryland Health Connection website.
The site has been streamlined to make navigating and selecting a plan easier. Customers can enroll online from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. including weekends and holidays (a site maintenance window closes enrollment for four hours a day). Residents can also download the "Enroll MHC" app from the iOS App Store (Apple) and the Google Play Store (Android).
Insurance brokers and navigators will be available by the hundreds for free expert advice at locations that can be found on the Maryland Health Connection website or through the app.
Roughly two dozen "Beat the Rush" events have been scheduled in counties across the state between Nov. 6-11. Details and a schedule can be found on the Maryland Health Connection website, or on @MarylandConnect on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
Customer support can also be reached toll-free by phone at 1-855-642-8572. Callers can get assistance in more than 200 languages, as well as services for the deaf or hard of hearing. These centers will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekends, with extended hours during the last week of enrollment.
“Nine out of 10 people who enrolled through Maryland Health Connection this year received financial help,” Executive Director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange Michele Eberle said in a statement. “We urge anyone who has tried and been discouraged from enrolling before to, as the ads say, think again.”