The third yeard of Open Enrollment begins on Nov. 1. Whether you are enrolling for the first time, or re-enrolling, it is important you shop for the best plan. Start now, by window shopping and compare plans and prices at Maryland Health Connection - Maryland's Insurance Marketplace. They've even added a video to get you started, and as always, you can find resources for eligibility and enrollment questions right here on our website.
A day filled with informatve, interesting, and inspirational speakers. Thanks to everyone who came, and thanks to our fabulous speakers and generous sponsors!! For everyone who attended Friday's symposium, and for anyone who wants to see what we discussed, here is a link to the entire PDF file of the day's presentations. And we have placed audio files of the presentations on our YouTube Channel.
The US Census Department released its report, Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2014, which shows a national decline in the uninsured rate of 2.9% from 2013 to 2014. In Maryland that rate fell from 11.3% in 2010 to 7.9% in 2014 and it means that 177,861 more Marylanders now have the security of knowing that they can get the care they need. For many it means they don't have to worry that health care bills could cause them to go bankrupt or lose their homes. For others, who couldn't go to the doctor for an early diagnosis because they couldn't afford the bills, it will save lives.
Maryland has taken the lead on health care reform from the start, but the job is not done. Approximately 308,000 Marylanders still do not have health insurance according to the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange (MHBE). Many others, who enrolled for the first time last year, must be encouraged to re-enroll this year. Equally important, given the up to 26% increase in 2016 insurance rates just approved by the Maryland Insurance Administration, consumers must be encouraged to shop and compare before enrolling this year.
That will be challenging given the cuts to the in-person assistance program approved by the MHBE Board.
Maryland's expansion of Medicaid and the establishment of our state based exchange were wise investments. Now policy makers must commit to providing all of the resources that consumers need to make informed decisions. This would be, not only an investment in the health and well-being of individual Marylanders, but in the health of the state's economy as well.
"The price of the most popular health plans sold through Maryland’s insurance exchange will jump, on average, by about one quarter next year, fueling questions about whether coverage under the Affordable Care Act will remain affordable in the state and elsewhere.
The 26 percent average increase in monthly premiums are for CareFirst plans, which cover three-fourths of the state residents who have bought insurance under the federal health-care law. The price jump, scheduled for January, is among rate changes that the state’s insurance regulators have approved for plans sold to individual families and small businesses.
The increases were announced Friday by state Insurance Commissioner Alfred W. Redmer Jr."