Governor Larry Hogan announced Tuesday that open enrollment will continue on Maryland Health Connection through February in light of the ongoing public health emergency.
Open enrollment, which began Nov. 1 and was originally scheduled to end Jan. 15, will now continue through Feb. 28. Anyone who enrolls by Jan. 31 will have coverage beginning Feb. 1. Those who enroll during February will be covered starting March 1.
“As we battle this COVID-19 surge, this extended enrollment period will help get more Marylanders covered at a critical time,” said Governor Hogan. “One of the many lessons of the pandemic is how important it is to have access to affordable and reliable health coverage, and we are fortunate to have a health exchange that is a national model” (Governor’s press release).
According to the Governor’s press release:
New enrollees totaled 39,181—up 48%—between Nov. 1 and Jan. 15. Nearly 142,000 existing enrollees also retained their coverage—up 2%—as the health emergency stretched into a third year. Marylanders can also obtain dental insurance through the state marketplace. Those enrollments grew 29% from 51,505 a year ago to 66,634 for 2022.
Populations that have historically proportionately lacked health coverage, including young adults as well as Black and Hispanic residents, enrolled at record numbers during the enrollment period between Nov. 1 and Jan. 15.
Additional enrollment opportunities will continue this year, including the Easy Enrollment Program, which allows uninsured people to get coverage if they check a box when filing their state income tax form.
A similar program will launch later this year for any Marylander filing for Unemployment Insurance who checks a box to indicate that they need coverage.
Maryland’s approach has helped stabilize prices and enrollment on the individual health insurance market. Coverage is open to all applicants regardless of pre-existing conditions since the Affordable Care Act launched a decade ago.
The total number of Marylanders who purchase their own health insurance grew 5% from 234,802 a year ago to 245,538 this month. That total includes both those who buy through Maryland Health Connection, the only outlet for financial help, and those who buy directly through one of the three companies that serve the individual market in Maryland.
More statistics with demographic information and year -to-year comparisons are available in the Governor’s press release.