The past year has reinforced the importance of taking care of our health, and the health of our families. When we take care of our health, we can get together, hug, and dance! We have other reasons to celebrate, too.
As we mark the 10-year anniversary of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Maryland, the numbers speak for themselves: More than half a million Marylanders have health coverage due to ACA. Since 2011, the uninsured rate in Maryland has been cut in half – from 12% to 6%. But there is still work to be done.
The fact that having access to health insurance provides better quality of life and saves lives is undeniable. Improvements in health care access can bring a major change in our communities. Preventive health, for example, is one the benefits that makes a big difference: immunizations and routine checks are fully covered by all health plans available through Maryland Health Connection.
As COVID-19 vaccinations progress, we are closer to getting our old lives back. But to get through this, we have to continue to protect ourselves, our children, our families, and our dear community. We can do this by making sure all of our friends, family, and neighbors have the security of health insurance.
For many families, access to health care is not an unreachable dream anymore. This year, the American Rescue Plan has made health care possible for even more families, including families with higher incomes. But more work must be done, because there are still many Marylanders that don’t have the health care they need so badly because of lack of access to information. It is crucial to share this information with those families that still don’t have health insurance:
If you need a health plan, enroll today. There are more savings for more Marylanders. You might even be able to get a health plan for as low as $1 a month! But don’t wait, the COVID-19 special enrollment period through Maryland Health Connection is open until August 15.
Don’t forget, many immigration statuses are eligible for plans through Maryland Health Connection. Families don’t need to have the same immigration status to apply. That means even if parents are not eligible to apply, but their children are, they can apply to get their children covered. Even if you’ve looked before, it’s worth looking again to see the new savings – there might be options that work for your budget. Public charge no longer applies, so there is no need to worry about that.
This is a moment of hope. We are finally able to enjoy things together again and see smiling faces. It is a great moment to celebrate accomplishments. But let’s not forget that now, more than ever, we have to take care of our health so we can leave this pandemic behind empowered, protected… healthier.
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Maryland Health Connection P.O. Box 857 Lanham, MD 20703.