5 things to know before the final deadline

Time is running out to sign up for a 2018 health or dental plan through Maryland Health Connection.

We added one more week to enroll, so you now have until Friday, Dec. 22. We know you have a lot going on in this busy holiday season, so to help we’re breaking down what you really to know about getting covered right now:

1. This really is your last chance to enroll for 2018 coverage. This is the one and only deadline: open enrollment does not extend into January as in past years.

You will only be able to sign up for a 2018 plan later if you have certain life events (like getting married or losing other health coverage) or if you’re eligible for Medicaid. Sign up now at MarylandHealthConnection.gov so you don’t go without health insurance next year.

2. If you’re already enrolled, shop again and you may find a better plan that costs less. In fact, many people who were in a Silver plan this year can switch to a more comprehensive Gold plan and actually pay less. So it’s especially important this year to compare plans and benefits to be sure you’re getting the best deal in 2018.

If you’re not quite ready to apply, use our Get an Estimate tool to browse plans and prices. Then, log into your account and apply (or use the “Change My Information” button if you’re already enrolled but want to change plans).

3. Most people who enroll get financial help to lower their costs. In fact, 9 out of 10 Marylanders who sign up get financial help to pay less for health insurance, and most people can find a plan for less than $100/month. Premium tax credits can lower your monthly insurance bill by hundreds of dollars a month, or you may even qualify for $0 coverage through Medicaid.

If you don’t qualify for financial help, you may find a better deal enrolling directly with a private insurance company. You can contact them directly or work with an insurance broker to sign up.

4. We can help you apply and understand your options. There are lots of ways to get help signing up before the deadline. We have consumer assistance organizations throughout Maryland and hundreds of insurance brokers who provide free help enrolling. You can search here for someone near you or download our free mobile app, Enroll MHC.

We’re also offering extended hours through our call center, and you can even reach us through Facebook and Twitter (@MarylandConnect).

Extended call center hours (1-855-642-8572 or Deaf and hard of hearing use Relay service):
Friday 12/15: 8 a.m-10 p.m.
Saturday 12/16: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sunday 12/17: 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Monday 12/18 to Friday 12/22: 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

5. Going without health insurance is not only risky but also may put you on the hook for a tax penalty. Right now the ACA remains the law of the land, as does the individual mandate that requires most people to have health insurance or pay a penalty when they file their taxes.

Plus, not having health insurance means you could face huge medical bills after an unexpected accident or illness. You can read stories here from real Marylanders like Brandon who were relieved to have the protection and peace of mind that comes with health coverage, or share your own story here.

About Maryland Health Connection

Maryland Health Connection is Maryland’s official health insurance marketplace for individuals and families to compare plans and enroll in health and dental coverage. It’s the only place to get financial help with health insurance. See if you qualify for financial help like tax credits or Medicaid/MCHP to make health insurance more affordable.

Visit MarylandHealthConnection.gov to enroll, or download our free Enroll MHC mobile app for Android and iPhone.

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