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Call center provides support for Marylanders seeking health coverage

Representatives will guide residents and small employers through their health coverage options

8/9/2013, 8:01 a.m.
Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown Courtesy photo

Maryland Health Connection, the state-based health insurance marketplace operated by the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, has opened the first phase of its state-of-the-art customer call center in Baltimore to provide support for residents and small employers statewide. Representatives, including bi-lingual staff, will guide Maryland residents and small employers through their health coverage options, explain financial assistance options available including federal tax credits and cost-sharing reductions, and answer customer service questions.

Between August 5 and September 30, 2013, the call center will assist Marylanders with general questions about health coverage and preparations for open enrollment. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.

"By opening the Maryland Health Connection call center, we are taking another step toward making it easier for Marylanders to get access to quality, affordable health care,” said Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. “With the October 1st launch of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange fast approaching, Maryland is prepared to continue leading the nation in the implementation of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act."

The call center will be fully operational and staffed with 125 representatives on October 1, 2013, when residents can begin selecting health insurance plans through Maryland Health Connection. The call center will operate seven days a week during the open enrollment period, which ends on March 31, 2014.

Representatives will be available during open enrollment— October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014— Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“The new call center provides important customer support to answer general questions as we approach the October 1st launch of Maryland Health Connection and continued support during open enrollment,” said Rebecca Pearce, executive

director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. “We understand the importance of having a live person available to answer any questions that may arise throughout the enrollment process.”

The call center is located at 1 South Street in Baltimore City. The toll-free phone number is 855-642(MHC)-8572, and 1-855-642(MHC)-8573 for TTY service. The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange is working with other state agencies, including the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the

Department of Human Resources, as well as consumer assistance organizations and insurance companies to ensure the appropriate hand-off procedures are implemented for transfers to other agencies and organizations in the event consumers require help with other matters. It also will employ state-of-the-art technologies for call distribution, tracking, reporting, online knowledge database and workforce management.

Following open enrollment in March 2014, the call center will be open during normal business hours to serve Maryland residents, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.

Additional information about Maryland Health Connection, the enrollment process and selecting coverage can be found at: www.MarylandHealthConnection.gov.