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Time to browse 2022 health insurance plans and prices!

Mother and child looking at computerThis year, there are more savings available than ever before. View new 2022 plans and lower costs now! Visit MarylandHealthConnection.gov and click Get an Estimate to browse plans. If you apply during open enrollment Nov. 1, 2021 - Jan. 15, 2022, your coverage date will depend on timing. Enroll Nov. 1 - Dec. 31, 2021 for coverage Jan. 1, 2022. Enroll Jan. 1-15, 2022 for coverage Feb. 1, 2022.

How do I view plans?

You can start comparing health plans in October. Use the “Get an Estimate” tool to browse plans and see how much you can save. It only takes five minutes to see what coverage and savings you may qualify for.

You can apply Nov. 1–Jan.15 for the plan that best fits you and your family.

Will I receive financial help with my health plan?

Nine out of 10 people who enroll through Maryland Health Connection get financial help to pay for their plan.

What is new for 2022?

The American Rescue Plan Act offers more financial help for individuals and families who qualify for a private health plan. The law also helps more people get financial help for the first time, helping middle-income Marylanders get covered.

Even if you’ve looked before, it’s worth coming back, because there are now savings available for households at all income levels.

Thanks to new legislation in Maryland, young adults ages 18-34 may be able to receive even more help paying for their monthly health insurance costs. This financial help is in addition to other savings available through Maryland Health Connection.

If I’m already enrolled, do I need to do anything?

If you decide not to update your account information during open enrollment, you will be  enrolled automatically into a plan similar to your 2021 insurance plan. We encourage you to take a look at 2022 plans to see what fits your needs and budget. If you’d like to change your plan for 2022, log into your account during open enrollment Nov. 1–Jan. 15, and select Change My Plan. If you cancel your 2021 plan, you will not be enrolled automatically for 2022 coverage.

If I need to renew my Medicaid, should I re-apply during open enrollment?

Currently all Medicaid coverage is extended until Dec. 31, 2021 due to the coronavirus emergency. You’ll receive a second notice before Medicaid benefits end. If you need assistance to renew, but wait until after Jan. 15 to seek help, you'll experience shorter wait times at our call center and when searching for in-person assistance.

What if I need coverage before Jan. 1, 2022?

You may be eligible for a special enrollment period. Certain life events qualify you to apply outside of open enrollment. Visit MarylandHealthConnection.gov to enroll, or download our free Enroll MHC mobile app.

 

Blog

Top five ways to get ready for school

child in mask at schoolSchool days are right around the corner! While learning may look different for some, it’s important everyone is healthy and prepared for the school year ahead. Here are some helpful tips to make sure your child's school year gets off to a great start.

Get vaccinated

Did you know that plans on Maryland Health Connection cover your child’s shots at no cost, even if you haven’t met your deductible? You can protect your children from several viruses and serious diseases.

Pack extra masks and hand sanitizer

Like socks in a dryer, masks can disappear in a backpack. Pack some extras. You never know when you’ll need them. Encourage your children to keep their masks on and to use hand sanitizer when washing hands with soap and water is not available.

Schedule an annual physical 

Make sure your child is ready to go with a head-to-toe checkup! Routine physicals are fully covered by your health plan. For most extracurricular activities, like sports, a physical is needed to participate. This will ensure that your child is healthy and prepared to take on the new school year. Try to schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatrician/primary care doctor. If you cannot get an appointment with your doctor, an urgent care center also can do a physical exam.

Start on a routine early

Children who were not in the classroom last year may need to get used to a new routine. Start now before the start of school to build that structure once again. Some of these habits may be an earlier bedtime, reading time or other learning activities. By beginning this routine early, you both will be ready for the first day of school without any hiccups.

Ask about a vision screening

About 80 percent of learning at school is visual. Your health insurance plan’s pediatric vision benefits cover children up to age 19 and include a routine eye examination and a pair of prescription glasses each year.

Blog

10-year anniversary of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

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.

In particular, the Hispanic community has the highest uninsured rate today at 21.4%. And we know this community has been especially hard-hit by COVID-19. Recent data shows that life expectancy of Hispanics in the US decreased in almost four years. The situation is alarming, but it can get better.

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.

Blog

Stay safe during UV Safety Month

July is UV safety awareness monthDuring these hot months, many are excited to enjoy quality time at the pool, a family hike on your favorite trail, a trip to the beach and other outdoor activities. While soaking up some vitamin D can be beneficial, too much sun can be harmful. July is National Ultraviolet Safety Month.

What is UV-A and UV-B?

The energy given off by the sun is broken down into 2 categories: UV-A and UV-B. Exposure to both UV-A and UV-B rays can cause skin cancer, which is the most common cancer within the United States.

How can you stay safe in the sun?

Damage from UV rays can develop over time. It is crucial to start sun protection practices early in your life. There are many ways you can protect yourself and your family from harmful UV radiation:

  • Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.
  • Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.
  • Stay in shaded areas during midday hours.
  • Grab a hat to wear that covers your head, ears, neck, and face.
  •  Wear sunglasses that protect from both UVA and UVB rays.

Treat your sunburn

According to the Mayo Clinic, a sunburn is a thermal burn that makes skin red and painful, and may be hot to the touch. It usually appears within a few hours after too much exposure to UV light, but may take days to fade.

To get some relief, follow these tips to treat your sunburn:

  • Apply a cold compress to the sunburnt area.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever for discomfort and inflammation.
  • Use aloe vera or similar cooling ointment to get rid of the heat on the skin.
  • Avoid more sun exposure until you feel comfortable again.
  • Dink plenty of water and avoid beverages such as alcohol that could dehydrate you.
  • If the sunburn is severe and shows any signs of infection, seek medical care.
Blog

Enjoy some fun in the sun in Maryland!

people dining in BaltimoreFrom canceled fireworks to limits on gatherings and the loss of loved ones, last summer was a bummer. This summer, mask-wearing requirements are lifted, and we can rejoin our friends and family. It’s important to remember to get your COVID-19 vaccine before going out and about. Take a look at what events and experiences you can have this summer, right here in Maryland.

Virtual options

If you are not ready to go out just yet, virtual fun is still available. Check out some local tourist spots, museums, historic landmarks and much more.

Enjoy some water fun!

Ocean City
Are you looking to have your toes in the sand? Ocean City is the perfect family getaway where you can enjoy the boardwalk, golfing, kite flying, great food and more. Start planning your next beach vacation and don’t forget your sunscreen!

White Marlin Open
It’s time to go fishing! The White Marlin Open will take place Aug. 2-6, 2021. This event is a deep-sea fishing tournament held annually in Ocean City, Md. The tournament awards prize money for catches of white marlin, blue marlin, tuna, wahoo, dolphin and shark. The 2020 event drew 433 boats, and paid out $6.8 million dollars in prize money. Come watch the fish weigh-ins at Harbour Island Marina.

Grab a bite to eat

We all scream for ice cream!
If you are looking for a sweet treat this season, check out the Ice Cream Lovers' Guide to Maryland. Enjoy everything from your classic chocolate and vanilla to something out of the box, such as tiramisu or key lime.

International Food & Craft Festival
Visit the International food and craft festival on Sunday, Aug.1, 2021, in Silver Spring, Md. It’s a full celebration of the nations! From great food, to crafts and music, this festival is guaranteed fun.

Jam out!

Tides & Tunes Summer Concert Series
If you are looking for some great music and a good time, check out the Tides & Tunes Summer Concert Series. Located in Annapolis, this series offers 10 weeks of popular music from rock to folk and blues, with the magnificent backdrop of the Chesapeake Bay. Concerts are free; however, donations are accepted. Drinks are available for purchase. No outside alcohol allowed.

Friday Night Music Fest
Enjoy some Friday night fun in Hagerstown at the Friday Night Music Fest! Bring chairs or blankets, and enjoy the outdoors. You can also listen to FM radio in your car. Musicians are from the area and local groups benefit from each concert. Cost for general admission is $3.

Blog

Marylanders, stay safe and healthy this summer!

father and child in poolIt is officially summer! While Marylanders are excited to enjoy outdoor activities such as swimming and cookouts, it is important to remember to stay safe and healthy. To make the most of the season, here are some tips to keep in mind while enjoying the outdoors.

Get vaccinated

To fully participate in all the summer fun, it’s important to get vaccinated for COVID-19. The vaccine is free and available for Marylanders ages 12 and up. So schedule your appointment today!

Stay cool 

If the body becomes overheated, it can have a hard time cooling itself down. Heat-related illnesses can happen to anyone at any age. To make sure you do not suffer a heat-related illness, it is important to:

  • Wear lightweight clothing.
  • Drink water.
  • Eat small meals.
  • Take breaks in between activities.

Watch out for ticks!

In the warmer months, getting an illness from ticks is more common. In Maryland, ticks can spread Lyme disease and several other diseases. If you are bitten by a tick, follow these steps for simple removal:

  • Use tweezers or a tick removal kit to grasp the head of the tick. Do not grab the body, as this could result in the tick’s blood being accidentally injected into the skin.
  • Firmly grasp the tick and pull up in a straight motion. Do not twist or wiggle the tick.
  • Once the tick has been removed, dispose of it in a drain, toilet or trash can.
  • Clean the tick bite with soap and water.
  • Monitor the bite site over the next few weeks. If a red bullseye develops or you experience flu-like symptoms such as fatigue or muscle aches, contact your doctor or a medical professional.

Keep an eye on the pool

When the sun is beaming down, swimming pools can be the perfect place to stay cool and enjoy family fun. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States. To ensure safety by a lake or pool, it is important to:

  • Never leave your child unattended by water.
  • Know how to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
  • Teach your child how to swim.
  • Keep a first-aid kit handy.
  • Install barriers and covers around your pool.

Are you going to eat that?

Everyone loves a good cookout! There are a few ways you can protect your family and friends this summer from food-related ilnnesses:

  • Limit exposure to outdoor temperatures. Perishable foods should not be left outside for more than two hours, and only one hour if the temperature is at or above 90°F. Keep your food at or below 40°F, in coolers or containers with a cold source, such as ice or frozen gel packs. This includes any leftovers from the grill, cold salads and even cut fruits and vegetables. Leftovers should be refrigerated or placed back in the cooler within 2 hours of being placed outside (1 hour if temperatures are at or above 90°F).
  • Avoid spreading bacteria. Do not use the same utensils and plates for raw and cooked meats.
  • Clean surfaces outside and inside often.
  • Keep food in a cooler with ice or freezer packs.
  • Pack raw foods in plastic bags to avoid cross-contamination with other food.
Blog

Use your insurance coverage during Men’s Health Month

Doctor helping a patient Celebrate Men’s Health Month in June by getting the most out of your health coverage. This program drives awareness around health issues that men may develop, like heart disease and prostate cancer. Guys, here are some important things to consider when it comes to using your health coverage.

Visit your primary care doctor
Regular check-ups can prevent or detect many health conditions. Set up your annual appointment with your health provider. All health insurance plans through Maryland Health Connection cover primary care visits.

Screenings
Screenings and preventive care are covered at no cost to you, even if you haven’t met your yearly deductible.

Mental health treatment
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, four times as many men than women commit suicide. Mental health treatment is covered under all health insurance plans. If you think you need help, please talk to someone to receive proper treatment.

Important screenings for men that are covered by Maryland Health Connection health plans are blood pressure, HIV, cholesterol, cancer (colorectal and more), Type 2 diabetes, and tobacco use screenings. Immunizations including hepatitis A and B, shingles, flu shots, measles, mumps, meningococcal,tetanus, and others.

Start using your coverage today!

Blog

Women's health: It’s covered for you

women smilingLadies, when was the last time you made sure your health was a top priority? With everyday responsibilities and activities, it’s easy to forget the last time you visited your primary care doctor, had a colonoscopy, or got a mammogram. To help you stay on top of your health, here are some recommendations to make the most of your coverage.

Know what your health plan covers

Health plans cover many benefits that are important to women, including doctor visits, prescriptions, mental health care, and pregnancy and newborn care.

Plans cover many preventive services for women without charging a copayment or coinsurance, even if you haven’t met your yearly deductible.

These include:

  • Screenings for sexually transmitted infections
  • Breast cancer screenings for women over 40
  • Domestic and interpersonal violence counseling
  • Help to quit smoking
  • Well-woman visits
  • Breastfeeding comprehensive support and counseling from trained providers, and access to breastfeeding supplies for pregnant and nursing women
  • Birth control, education and counseling

 

If you don’t have health coverage, you can enroll now

Browse plans and get an estimate at MarylandHealthConnection.gov or download the free mobile app to compare coverage and costs before you enroll.

When you apply through Maryland Health Connection, you will estimate your household income to see if you can get help paying for health coverage. You may qualify for financial help to make health coverage more affordable.

With the American Rescue Plan, there are now new, bigger savings. You could be eligible for health plans for as little as a few dollars a month.

If you’re pregnant or have children,you can earn more than other adults and still qualify for Medicaid. You can apply for Medicaid at any point during your pregnancy.

Hundreds of trained experts are available throughout Maryland to help you apply and enroll. Find help near you.

Blog

This April understand your coverage options during STD/STI Awareness Month

According to research from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2018 there were nearly 2.5 million cases of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) reported. Baltimore city has the highest STD rate in the country, jumping five spots from last year’s report. During this STD/Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) awareness month, Marylanders should understand why it’s important to schedule consistent STD/STI screenings with your doctor.

What is the difference between an STD and STI?

If an individual is infected, but the infection has not fully developed into a disease, they have an STI. Having an infection is what occurs before developing an STD. Several STIs and STDs do not have any symptoms. This is why having a screening is crucial to know if you are infected. While an STD can develop from an STI, not every STI becomes an STD.

What are common STDs and STIs?

To understand your signs and symptoms, here are some common STDs and STIs to take a look at:

How do you prevent and treat an STD?

Have a conversation with your partner

Clear communication is key to preventing STDs. Have a conversation about how to practice safe sex and why it’s essential to get tested. It is also important to talk about the structure of your relationship and if you are seeking a monogamous relationship or not.

Go to your doctor

Several STDs do not show any signs or symptoms. If you are sexually active, ask your doctor during your yearly physical if getting tested is right for you. With your Maryland Health Connection plan, preventive screenings are covered.

Get treated

If you test positive for an STD, ask your doctor t for treatment. STDs left untreated can cause complications such as abdominal/pelvic pain, issues becoming pregnant, or an increased risk of developing HIV.

Blog

March is National Kidney Month

National Kidney Month is the perfect time to make sure you're taking care of your kidneys. Did you know 2 in 5 adults with chronic kidney disease do not know they have it? Follow these healthy lifestyle tips and take control of your kidney health.

kidney month

Check in regularly with your doctor

By scheduling annual check ups and staying connected with your doctor, you can help maintain your overall health. Several doctors are offering telehealth appointments via phone or computer, so you don’t have to worry about coming into the office during the COVID-19 restrictions. To find a doctor in your area, check out our Find a Doctor tool.

Reduce processed foods

These foods contain a lot of sodium, unhealthy fats and even phosphorus. Many people who have kidney disease need to limit phosphorus in their diets. Research has shown that high phosphorus intake from processed foods may be harmful to kidneys. Try foods that are  low in phosphorus, potassium, and sodium. Some options include cabbage, cauliflower, blueberries and bell peppers.

Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine

Consider healthy, stress-reducing activities and get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. By exercising, you build up your muscle and endurance. This helps your kidneys function at peak levels. Some physical activities to try are: taking a walk, riding a bike, doing yoga, gardening, and swimming.

Get tested and stay healthy!

It’s important that you have any of of the following conditions, to talk to your doctor about getting tested for kidney disease:

  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease
  • a family history of kidney failure

Regular testing is your best chance for identifying kidney disease.  Early treatment is most effective and can help prevent additional health problems. Kidney disease is more commonly associated with people who have a family history or those who are over the age of 60.

All plans through Maryland Health Connection, cover doctor visits and  preventive screenings. If you do not have health insurance, enroll today at MarylandHealthConnection.gov.

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