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Nearly 58,000 Marylanders gained health coverage during two special enrollment periods

Nearly 58,000 Marylanders enrolled in health coverage during Maryland Health Connection’s two special enrollment periods that began in February and March and ended Wednesday, July 15.

The Maryland Health Insurance Easy Enrollment Program

This program launched Feb. 26 and was the first of its kind in the nation.The Comptroller of Maryland asked state tax filers to check a box on their state tax return if they did not have health insurance and wanted their information to be shared with the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange to see if they could receive free or low cost health coverage. Tax filers had until the July 15 tax filing deadline to check the box on their state tax form. Several states are in the process of looking at creating similar programs.

Since February:

  • More than 41,000 filers checked the box
  • More than 3,700 enrolled as of July 15

Coronavirus Special Enrollment Period

On March 16, the marketplace also opened a special enrollment period in response to the coronavirus pandemic. With support from Gov. Larry Hogan and participating insurance providers, Maryland held one of the longest special enrollment periods in the nation.

“Maryland Health Connection was quickly able to respond to this global crisis and help our Maryland families get the health coverage they need,” says Michele Eberle, executive director of Maryland Health Benefit Exchange.

In three months, 54,028 enrolled through the coronavirus special enrollment period. Of those:

  • 35 percent purchased private plans.
  • 65 percent enrolled in Medicaid.
  • 90 percent of enrollees received free or reduced cost coverage.
  • Prince George’s County had the highest enrollment with 10,897; Montgomery County

had nearly as many, with 10,594.

  • Ages 18-34 made up 35 percent of enrollments.
  • Nearly a third were self-reported Black/African American, the largest group of enrollees.

Marylanders who have lost health coverage due to job loss or have experienced other major life changes may still be eligible to enroll within 60 days of the loss of coverage. Those who qualify for Medicaid may enroll any time of year. To see if you can apply now, visit MarylandHealthConnection.gov or download the free “Enroll MHC” mobile app.

For free consumer assistance, call 855-642-8572 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays. Help is available in more than 200 languages through the call center, as well as Relay service for the deaf and hard of hearing. Trained navigators and brokers statewide offer free help enrolling by phone.