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Have you signed up for health insurance yet?

| November 24, 2019, 04:05 PM

Rams Head

“Start Here” will be the theme for 2020 health care open enrollment season that began Nov. 1 with Maryland Health Connection.

The “Start Here” campaign  appears on social media, print, online and other venues, including gas station TVs, to emphasize where Marylanders can go to enroll and use the free, expert advisers located throughout Maryland.

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Open enrollment began on MarylandHealthConnection.gov at 5 a.m. on Nov. 1. Dec. 15 is the deadline to sign up for 2020 coverage that begins Jan. 1, 2020.

New this year, Value Plans feature lower deductibles and increased access to primary care, mental health care, and generic drugs before deductibles apply. Value plans are designed to lower consumers’ out-of-pocket costs for the health care services the majority of people use most frequently.

“Not only are most premiums going down, but we are excited to introduce our new Value Plans. These plans offer deductibles that are hundreds or even thousands of dollars cheaper than in 2019. Value plans are designed to give Marylanders more access to primary care, mental health care, and generic drugs before their deductibles apply,” said Michele Eberle, executive director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, which operates the state’s health insurance marketplace.

Consumers who have coverage through Medicaid will receive a notice when it’s time to renew; enrollment for Medicaid is year-round. The fall open enrollment is for qualified health plans only.

There are numerous ways to enroll:

  • Individuals can apply at MarylandHealthConnection.gov, which has been streamlined to make it easier to use this year. In response to people who said that work or other demands made it easier for them to use the website late night or early morning, the reduced maintenance window will allow consumers to enroll online 20 hours a day, from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. including weekends and holidays.
  • The “Enroll MHC” mobile app is free in the App Store (iOS) and Google Play Store (Android). Users can use the camera on their mobile device to securely upload documents if needed.
  • Hundreds of insurance brokers and navigators are available for free expert advice in every county in Maryland. You can find their locations and contact information at MarylandHealthConnection.gov/Find-Help or through the mobile app.
  • Consumers can call 1-855-642-8572 toll-free to reach the consumer support center. It offers assistance in more than 200 languages, as well as Relay services for the deaf and hard of hearing. During open enrollment, the call center will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays, with extended hours during the last week of open enrollment.

The Maryland Crabs Podcast spoke with Michele Eberle:

Rams Head

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