More of Your Voices: Coverage Matters to Maryland Families

TODAY, January 31, is the final deadline for 2017 coverage. Thank you for sharing your own stories of how coverage matters to you and your family.

We’ve talked with Marylanders who need coverage because of life-threatening illnesses or to access important preventive care, many who are saving money with the help of financial assistance like tax credits, and others who value the peace of mind of protecting their loved ones from the unexpected.

We're sharing some of their stories this week. You can also tell us yours, and hear from more Marylanders like you.

Mary Ann of Mechanicsville credits the ACA with saving her life, after covered preventive care revealed breast cancer.
Mary Ann went uninsured or underinsured after losing her job in 2011 because of budget cuts. Before the Affordable Care Act, she was denied health insurance due to pre-existing conditions.

When the ACA marketplace opened, she was able to enroll in April 2014 and immediately got a pap smear and mammogram, which are covered by plans.

"I was diagnosed with breast cancer — early stages, but an aggressive strain. I had a lumpectomy, chemo, and radiation, and am now cancer-free. But without the Affordable Care Act, I would probably be sitting here with stage 4 cancer. So thank you again, President Obama, for saving my life."

Joanne enrolleeJoanne of Harford County is grateful for enrollment assistance with her health plan.
Joanne, who has had Type 1 diabetes for more than 35 years, works two part-time jobs and her employers do not offer health insurance. She talked to us about her experience enrolling through Maryland Health Connection’s partner, Seedco.

“If it weren’t for [navigator] Sue, I would never [sign up for health insurance] alone. She is kind, compassionate, and an amazing professional. Her help alone makes this so much easier.”

Joanne says her plan is “amazing” and allows her to see her specialists without a referral.

Joanne stressed that affordable health care is necessary so she and other Marylanders can stay healthy. Preventive care (which plans cover) is essential. Although health insurance is Joanne’s least favorite thing to deal with, she doesn’t mind going to get Sue’s help every year.

maryland health connectionTracy of Anne Arundel County needed health insurance that her job didn’t provide.
Tracy of Anne Arundel County needed a good health insurance plan, and the small business she works for did not offer affordable coverage. Tracy had a medical condition that required her to get extensive treatment, multiple surgeries, and see a specialist often.

She chose a plan through Maryland Health Connection that has allowed her to afford the care she needs, including seeing a specialist without a referral and having a low deductible. Tracy said, “The website was easy to use and compare plans. I picked the one I needed and am happy I’m covered.”

Tracy sent us her picture so we turned her into one of our 'Real Coverage for Real People' characters! Share your coverage story with us and you could see a cartoon version of yourself too! Click here to share.

Audrey of Chevy Chase owns a small business, and her premiums were cut in half.
Audrey previously spent more than $1000 each money for health insurance as the owner of her own small business. Under the Affordable Care Act, her premiums dropped to about $500.

Audrey said her daughter, who has disabilities and special health needs, has also benefited from the Medicaid program. "Her med costs were so outrageous that I couldn't cover them anymore. Now she get her regular care, and her meds."

Christine B. of Montgomery County got coverage to continue treatment for multiple sclerosis and pursue self-employment.
Christine, who has multiple sclerosis, enrolled through the marketplace when she lost her job in 2016 and needed to avoid a lapse in her treatment.

"This is huge for my long-term health," she said. "Because of my coverage I was also able to start my own business and explore how self-employment could be a good option for me to make a living outside of the traditional workplace. If I lose my coverage I may have to abandon my business that I now love in order to get benefits with a preexisting condition."

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. Open Enrollment for 2017 is November 1 to January 31.

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