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Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

Maryland Health Connection

Who Is the Marketplace for?

Maryland Health Connection is the health insurance Marketplace where you can shop for and buy insurance in person, online, or by phone. In Maryland, the Marketplace is being run by the state government. The Marketplace, also called an Exchange, is mainly for people who:

  • Don’t have insurance
  • Aren’t insured by their employer
  • Aren’t included in their spouse’s employer insurance 
  • Have pre-existing conditions and may have had trouble getting insurance before
  • Have private insurance but want something less expensive
  • Own a small business

The Affordable Care Act requires that most Americans have health insurance starting in 2014. Generally, you don't need to buy insurance through the Marketplace if you are currently covered by Medicaid, Medicare, TRICARE, or an employer-sponsored plan.

When You Can Enroll: The next open enrollment period will be from Nov. 15, 2014, to Feb. 15, 2015.

If you have a life-changing event -- such as the birth of a child, losing your job, or moving to a new state -- you don't have to wait for the next enrollment period. You can sign up or change coverage within 60 days of the event.

Plans and Costs

Types of plans: All the insurance plans on the Marketplace are sold by private companies or co-ops. They can offer four types of coverage: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. These “metal level” plans all cover the same kinds of benefits in Maryland. What differs is how much they pay on average toward the costs of healthcare services. Here’s how it works:

  • Bronze Plan: You pay 40% and the plan pays 60%.
  • Silver Plan: You pay 30% and the plan  pays 70%.
  • Gold Plan: You pay 20% and the  plan pays 80%.
  • Platinum Plan: You pay 10% and the plan pays 90%.

Low cost – or catastrophic – plans are available, especially for people who are under 30 and are healthy.  These plans cost less up front, but they don’t give you as much coverage. They generally require you to pay more out-of-pocket costs.

Costs: Companies on the Marketplace can vary costs based on your age, where you live in the state, and your tobacco use. They cannot charge you more because of your sex or your health condition.

For a 25-year-old, the lowest-priced bronze plans range from $114 to $124 a month. For a 50-year-old, the lowest-priced silver plans range from $260 to $269. Rates vary depending on the region of the state where you live.

Maryland allows insurance companies to charge tobacco users 50% more than non-tobacco users.

Who Is Selling Insurance in the Maryland Exchange?  Six companies will sell insurance through Maryland Health Connection.

  • All Savers Insurance
  • CareFirst of Maryland Inc.
  • CareFirst BlueChoice Inc.
  • Evergreen Health Cooperative Inc.
  • Group Hospitalization and Medical Services Inc.
  • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic

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