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Special Enrollment Period For Marylanders Without Health Insurance

Stephanie Klapper | 3/20/2020, 6 a.m.
Marylanders without health insurance who are concerned about the coronavirus, COVID-19, now have the opportunity to enroll in health coverage ...
Special enrollment period for Marylanders without health insurance Darko Stojanovic

Marylanders without health insurance who are concerned about the coronavirus, COVID-19, now have the opportunity to enroll in health coverage thanks to a special enrollment period that Governor Larry Hogan and the Maryland Health Connection have created in response to the growing coronavirus public health crisis.

From March 16 to April 15, 2020, uninsured Marylanders will be able to enroll

in health coverage through the Maryland Health Connection, Maryland's official health insurance marketplace. Last year, nine in 10 Marylanders who enrolled qualified for financial assistance, making the coverage affordable for most people.

While Medicaid enrollment is open all year round, private insurance enrollment through the Maryland Health Connection is usually limited to six weeks toward the end of the year, with few exceptions. That is why this special enrollment period is so important.

During this critical time, it’s essential that uninsured Marylanders get coverage so they can get the care they need— for their safety and for all of us.

Having health insurance and access to care will give you peace of mind during a period of uncertainty about the threat of the coronavirus.

Don’t wait. If you need health coverage, apply as soon as possible. Go to www.marylandhealthconnection.gov, call 1-855-642-8572, or download the mobile app.

The Special Enrollment Period complements the new Maryland Easy Enrollment Health Insurance Program, which empowers uninsured Marylanders to find out their eligibility for free or low-cost health coverage by checking a box on their state tax return. After checking the box, Maryland Health Connection will send a letter in the mail with next steps on how to enroll. If you are uninsured, you have until April 15 to check the box on your Maryland state tax return.

I thank Governor Larry Hogan and Maryland Health Connection for their leadership in creating a Special Enrollment Period for uninsured Marylanders to enroll in quality, affordable health coverage during Maryland’s Coronavirus State of Emergency. I also thank the Maryland General Assembly and Governor Hogan for continuing to build on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Maryland and to defend the ACA from federal attacks. The ACA has helped over 400,000 Marylanders enroll in health coverage so far, and without the ACA the Special Enrollment Period would not be possible.

Maryland joins Massachusetts and Washington in creating a Special Enrollment Period in response to COVID-19. I urge the Trump administration and every other Governor in the country to follow our lead to help protect everyone in our nation. Lives depend on it.

Stephanie Klapper, Deputy Director, Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative and the Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition. The Coalition is made up of hundreds of faith, labor, business, and other organizations from across the state working toward policies that create access to quality, affordable health care for all Marylanders.