Officials say most premiums are going down this year.
Baltimore, Md (KM) Marylanders who don’t have health insurance through their employers can get it from the Maryland Health Connection. Open enrollment is underway until December 15th , with coverages to begin on January 1st, 2020.
“This is the time where individuals who are purchasing health insurance for themselves or their families, where they don’t get it through their employer, can come on to Maryland Health Connection, and they can shop for plans, they can select a plan that best the needs for their family,” says Michelle Eberle, Executive Director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, which administers the Maryland Health Connection.
Eberle says this year, some residents may be surprised by the price of some insurance plans available on the Maryland Health Connection. “Hopefully, this year they’ll have lower premiums because all of our premiums went down by 10%,” she says.
Actions taken by the Governor and the General Assembly to implement a re-insurance program helped lower those prices, says Eberle. “Which is essence helps insure some of the most costly individuals’ claims so that not everybody has to help to pay for those most costly claims,”: she says. “And as a result, that has lowered premiums for everyone.”
Eberle says the Maryland Health Connection has started a new theme for the 2020 health care enrollment season called “Start Here.” She says this campaign will appear on line, on social media, print and other venues, including gas station TV’s. to point out where Marylanders can go to enroll, and use the expert advisers free if charge around Maryland to help them sign up for the plan that best suits them. “Believe or not after seven years. we still hear from individuals that, one, they don’t know about us, or two, they have no idea how to get started in looking to buy a health plan,” Eberle says. “Especially, folks that are in their 20’s or early 30’s, they never had the opportunity to purchase health insurance.”
To enroll, residents can go on line to MarylandHealthConnection.gov, which Eberle says was streamlined this year to make it easier to use. It will operate from 5:00 AM until 1:00 AM, including weekends and holidays.
Residents can also download the “Enroll MHC” app which is free from the app store and Google Play Store.
The Maryland Health Connection says hundreds of insurance brokers and navigators are available in every county to offer free expert advise on choosing a plan. You can find out their locations by going on line to MarylandHealthConnetion.gov/Find-Help, or through the mobile app.
There is a local “Get Connected” meeting taking place in Frederick this week at Frederick Community College. It will be held on Wednesday, November 6th from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the FCC Student Center in rooms 8202 and 8293.
Consumers can also call 1-855-642-8572 for help. The call center will be in operation from 8:00 AM until 6:00 PM on weekdays, and 8:00 AM until 2:00 Pm on Saturdays, with extended hours during open enrollment.
By Kevin McManus