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When does my coverage begin?

Medicaid

If you are eligible for Medicaid, MCHP, or MCHP Premium:

  • Your coverage begins on the first day of the month that you applied. For example, if you apply on December 18 and are found eligible, your coverage will be considered effective as of December 1.
  • You may also be able to get help with medical bills that you incurred up to 3 months before you applied. Applicants who are in need of retroactive coverage and did not select this option during online enrollment should contact their local health department (PDF) or department of social services.

Qualified Health Plan

If you buy a qualified health plan during open enrollment for 2017:

  • If you enroll between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15, 2016, your coverage will begin Jan. 1, 2017.
  • If you enroll between Dec. 16, 2016 and Jan. 15, 2017, your coverage will begin Feb. 1, 2017.
  • If you enroll between Jan. 16 and Jan. 31, 2017, your coverage will begin March 1, 2017.

Make sure you pay your monthly bill:

  • Your qualified health plan requires a monthly payment, known as a premium. The insurance company you select will send you a monthly bill with payment instructions. View our Payment Guide for information on initial billing and contact information for your insurance company.
  • Your coverage only will be effective as long as you pay your monthly premium on time, and you continue to qualify for enrollment in a qualified health plan. If you haven’t received a bill, call your insurance company.

Special Enrollment Period

If you enroll in a qualified health plan through a special enrollment period:

  • In most cases, if you qualify for a special enrollment period to change plans and report your new plan selection to Maryland Health Connection between the 1st and the 15th of the month, your coverage will begin on the 1st of the following month.
  • If you report your new plan selection between the 16th and the last day of a month, your coverage will begin on the 1st of the next following month. For example, if you select your plan July 16, your coverage will begin Sept. 1.
  • For some life events, your coverage may be available sooner. In the case of a birth, adoption, or placement in foster care or for adoption, the plan will take effect on the date of the event. For example, if you have a baby on May 20, and select a plan through Maryland Health Connection on June 1, coverage for you and the baby will begin May 20.
  • In the case of marriage or loss of certain other health coverage, the plan selected through a special enrollment period will take effect on the 1st of the month following your marriage or loss of coverage. For example, if you lose your employer-sponsored coverage June 10 and select your plan June 20, your coverage will begin July 1.
  • If you report a change to your information, you will receive a new eligibility determination letter from Maryland Health Connection.