Open Enrollment For Citizens Signing Up Through Health Care Exchanges Begins Soon

Residents are still urged to sign up, despite the cancellation of subsidies to participating insurance companies.

 


Baltimore, Md (KM). The open enrollment period for those receiving health insurance through the Maryland Health Connection beings on Wednesday, November 1st. Residents who want to sign up for health insurance through the Maryland Exchange, or renew or change their current coverage should have copies of their W-2’s on hand, along with their  income tax returns. :”If they happen to go in person to get enrollment at various enrollment centers we have around the state, they should have citizenship and immigration information, photo identification,” says Andrew Ratner, a spokesman for the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, which operates the Health Connection.

This year, he says, only two insurance companies are participating in the Maryland Exchange: CareFirst and Kaiser Permanente. But that shouldn’t be deterrent. “In some cases, because of the way the tax credits work for those people who are eligible, they may find that are even cheaper this year coming up than they were the previous year,” says Ratner.

The Maryland Health Exchange, like those in other states, was set up following the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Republican elected officials in Congress and President Trump, have promised to repeal and replace the law. But two past efforts to do so have failed.

Recently, the President issued an executive order canceled the subsidies for insurance companies which helps residents pay their premiums. Despite this action, Ratner says residents should apply for  health insurance through Maryland’s Exchange. :”The disappearance of those cost sharing subsidies that went to the insurance companies will cause a rise in the tax credits that other people receive. They could find there’s no impact from the President’s action, or perhaps even a beneficial impact,” says Ratner.

Those who want to register for health insurance through the Exchange can go on line to MarylandHealthConnection.gov., or call 1-855-642-8572 (TTY: 1-855-642-8573). There are also a number of “Beat the Rush” events taking place across Maryland this coming weekend. The closest ones to Frederick County are at Carroll Community College, Room M-157, 1601 Washington Road, Westminster from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Saturday, November 4th, in Montgomery County at the Germantown Regional Service Center, 12900 Middlebrook Road, 2nd floor, in Germantown on Saturday, November 4th from 9:30 AM until 3:00 PM; And in Washington County at The main branch of the Washington County Library at 100 South Potomac Street in Hagerstown on Saturday, November 4th from 10:30 AM to 4:00 PM.

Ratner says the Health Connection has a Navigator Office for Frederick County residents. They can call 410-500-4710 and be connected with the local Navigator Office.

 

By Kevin McManus