The Maryland Health Connection "Outreach and Enrollment Tour" came to Harford County Thursday afternoon as part of the rollout of the Maryland portion of the federal law known as Obamacare.
In conjunction with SEEDCO, the Harford Community Action Agency and the Harford County Health Department provided Navigators and Assisters to answer questions regarding the state's new health insurance marketplace.
The Outreach van visited the Health Department's Woodbridge office at 1321 Woodbridge Station Way in Edgewood from noon until 5:00pm. Residents were able to learn more about health coverage options and financial assistance available only through the Maryland Health Connection and pick-up information regarding the Affordable Care Act.
The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange (MHBE) announced April 25 that Seedco will serve as one of six connector organizations contracted to provide consumer assistance and health insurance enrollment resources to individuals and small employers in Harford, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne's, Talbot, Caroline and Dorchester counties.
As high quality, affordable health care becomes available in our state, nearly 14,000 people created accounts on the site in the first week so they can find and enroll in a health plan that fits their needs and budget. Maryland Health Connection open enrollment continues through March 31, but consumers have only until Dec. 15 to complete the process in time to have qualified health plan coverage in place by the New Year. Medical Assistance enrollment for those who qualify will continue to be available at any time.
"Building and launching a system with as many consumer choices for health care as we have in Maryland is a complex process," states Harford County Health Officer Susan Kelly. "However, the personal satisfaction that comes with having health care, especially in the event of an accident or serious illness, is definitely worth the effort consumers will make to enroll through the Maryland Health Connection."
More information about Maryland Health Connection and health insurance options is available by visiting http://www.harfordcountyhealth.com or by calling representatives available at all Health Department locations, called "Assisters" at: 1321 Woodbridge Station Way in Edgewood MD at 443-752-4105, at 120 S. Hays Street in Bel Air at 443-752-4213 or 34 N. Philadelphia Blvd. in Aberdeen, at 443-753-5409.
Additional valuable information is available on-line at: http://www.marylandhealthconnection.gov.
As the Affordable Care Act rolls out across the country, new health insurance options have arrived in Harford County. Since Oct. 1, Harford County residents have been able to search for and buy a health plan through the Maryland Health Connection.
To mark the occasion, the Harford County Health Department offers an ongoing opportunity for interested members of the public to schedule appointments to meet personally with Maryland Health Connection representatives. Called "Assisters," these representatives are available at three different health department locations around the county. Their purpose is to reach out to the community with information and education, to help with applications, and to discuss insurance options that best fit their needs. A listing of telephone numbers for each of the sites is as follows:
1321 Woodbridge Station Way, Edgewood MD 21040, by calling 443-752-4105
120 S. Hays Street, Bel Air MD, 21014, by calling 443-752-4213
34 N. Philadelphia Blvd, Aberdeen MD, 21001, by calling 443-753-5409
An estimated 14 percent of Marylanders currently are uninsured. A primary goal of the Affordable Care Act is to help uninsured and eligible Marylanders secure quality, affordable health care. By law, most people must have health insurance beginning in 2014 or pay a fine. Some may qualify for help paying for health care costs depending upon income and family size. Having Medicaid or Medicare insurance also meets this requirement.
Health Officer Susan Kelly said now is the time to raise awareness about the Maryland Health Connection. "This is Maryland's new health insurance marketplace, where residents and small businesses can shop, compare and enroll in health coverage. With the help of Maryland Health Connection Assisters, it will be easier for citizens to take full advantage of what is available in the way of services and information about qualified health insurance programs and, if eligible, to enroll in Medicaid."
Information regarding specific dates, times and locations to get individual assistance is available by calling the Health Department's Division of Care Coordination at 410-273-5626 and asking about the Maryland Health Connection. More information about Maryland Health Connection also is available by visiting http://www.harfordcountyhealth.com.