Maryland Health Insurance Exchange Opens

As reported by the Baltimore Sun, yesterday marked the opening of Maryland’s Health Insurance Exchange.  While there were a few glitches, including problems with the website, the overall response revealed the interest in the Affordable Care Act’s new health coverage options.  As described,

State officials had warned about the possibility of glitches. The first day’s problems were caused by a logjam of people trying to create accounts on the site, said Maryland Health Secretary Joshua Sharfstein. At one point, about 1,000 people a minute were trying to create accounts, he said.

For more information, see the full story from the Sun.

At our Winter Conference we will be hearing an update on enrollment in Maryland from representatives of Maryland’s Health Connection, regional connector entities, and local health and human services administrators in “Report from the Front: Rolling Out Maryland’s Health Benefits Exchange.”  One connector entity that will be represented on the panel is Healthy Howard’s Door to HealthCare Western Maryland.  As described on their website, the Door began its outreach work this past summer,

Beginning in the summer of 2013, the Door to HealthCare will work with a dozen partner organizations in six western Maryland counties — Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Howard and Washington — to raise awareness among residents about new benefits under health care reform, and in the fall, the Door will provide hands-on assistance for residents who want to enroll in a new health plan. The Door to HealthCare was selected as one of six regional “Connector Entities” that will help Marylanders access affordable health coverage through the state’s coming health insurance marketplace.

Also at Winter Conference, we will hear a presentation the ACA from the perspective of county governments as employers.  In “The Health Care Transition: What Your County Needs to Know,” representatives of the National Association of Counties and healthcare consulting firms will describe the substantive changes to employment based health plans under The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  As described,

Some the critical issues counties should be aware of concerning the implementation of the health reform law and factors to consider include: initial changes to employer-sponsored health insurance and changes in 2015 and beyond; grandfathered plans; extension of dependent coverage to age 26; medicare changes relevant to employers; and notice and disclosure requirements.  In this session, county governments who provide health care coverage to employees will hear about these topics in detail, and how Maryland counties are implementing the changes.

Registration forms and additional information are available on our website.