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Giving Tuesday is almost upon us. We here at the Coaltion are extremely thankful for the support we get from our members and partner organizations every day. Without you, we couldn't do the work we do. Please help us continue that effort and give generously on Tuesday, December 1. You can make a donation here - just click on the red donate banner at the top of this page, or visit our Giving Tuesday campaign site at

Meanwhile, take three minutes out of your Thanksgiving preparations and travel and take a peek at who we are, and what we work so hard to do every day.


Keep Up The Good Work!

At this time of year we give thanks for so many things. Not the least of these is health and the hope that all Marylanders have the coverage they need and the care they deserve.  Fulfilling that hope requires that the Coalition identify the challenges to accessing and providing high-quality, affordable and comprehensive care. 

Thank you for your advocacy and keep it up!

That is the message we received last week from a young man named Yehuda, who was responding to our report, Network Adequacy in Maryland. A Report on Provider Directories and Women's Access to Health Care Services.  You can read the full report here and read the coverage in the Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Business Journal.

Our research focused specifically on the directory available to those purchasing a 2015 Qualified Health Plan.  But, what Yehuda told us, was that the inaccuracies we found are also evident in the separate directories of individual insurance carriers. He was searching for a Durable Medical Equipment provider within his zip code on the web site of a Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO) that also sells QHPs. What he found was that 50% of the listings included incorrect information.



Coalition Releases Report on Network Adequacy 

Today, the Maryland Women's Coalition for Health Care reform released a report on the availability of OBGYN providers available through the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. Our report found that of the 1,493 providers listed, only 490 (33%) of them were actually available to provide a well woman exam, and of those, only 22% were able to provide a well woman exam within four weeks. 

Why were only 490 available? The answer lies mainly in the inaccuracy of the data that is in the online directory available to those purchasing Qualified Health Plans on Maryland Health Connection. It is the insurance carriers who are responsible for providing CRISP, the entity that manages the directory, with updated information every 15 days. This is not happening now, leading women to face unconscionable challenges in accessing an OB/GYN.

 "We felt there was a problem with the provider directories and there was a broad impact on all consumers," said Leni Preston, who chairs the coalition. As a result, the Coalition recommends the following:

  • To read or download a full copy of the report with recommendations, click here.
  • To read our press release, click here.
  • Read the Baltimore Sun coverage of the report here.
  • See what state Insurance leaders had to say about the report in the Baltimore Business Journal.

Did You Know?

Do you know about the Senior Prescription Drug Assistance Program (SPDAP)?  The SPDAP is a State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program (SPAP) that provides a subsidy to assist eligible Maryland residents with their Medicare Part D premium costs. The current benefit offered is a subsidy of up to $40.00 per month to be applied against an SPDAP members' Medicare Part D premium costs. The benefit for CY2016 will remain the same as the current benefit.  To be eligible for the SPDAP premium subsidy one must be:

  1. A Maryland resident for at least six (6) months;
  2. Be eligible to enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription plan;
  3. Not be "Dual Eligible" - eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid;
  4. Not be receiving 100% of the Federal Low Income Subsidy (LIS); and,
  5. Have a yearly income total that is 300% or less of the current Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange has released a complete list of free, in-person resources available to help people get enrolled during the current open enrollment periond. They include:

  • A slate of weekend enrollment events across the state to be held through January 31, 2016. The calendar of events and locations can be found here.

Enrollment must be completed by Dec. 15 for health or dental coverage to begin on Jan. 1, 2016. Enrollments completed Dec. 16 to Jan. 15 will begin coverage on Feb. 1, 2016. And enrollments completed Jan. 16 - 31 will have coverage beginning March 1, 2016.



Health Care Policy and Advocacy:
We Set the Pace in Maryland.

Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving scheduled this year on Tuesday December 1, 2015. In Maryland the campaign is Maryland Gives More. This a time when you and your colleagues get to say thank you and to give back in recognition of the tireless efforts of nonprofits across the state. I am asking you to choose the Maryland Women’s Coalition for Health Care Reform for your gift. Every dollar you give helps us take a step toward a healthy and informed state, leading our nation in developing a delivery system that provides better health care, to achieve better health for all, at lower costs.

Our goal is to raise $25,000 during Giving Tuesday. We hope we can count your donation as part of reaching that goal. 

Please click on the Donate button to the right on our page, or go to our Maryland Gives More camapign page and donate there. And thank you!!

Get Ready and Give on December 1, 2015!