Meeting to Explain Maryland's New Affordable Health Plans                                                      
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will transform healthcare insurance in Maryland, beginning October 1, making it affordable and widely available. An open meeting to explain the new plans and how to enroll in them will be held on Sunday, November 17, from 1 to 3 p.m., at Mishkan Torah Synagogue in Greenbelt, Maryland. Everyone is welcome.

The speaker at the meeting will be Leni Preston, founding member and chair of the Maryland Women’s Coalition for Health Care Reform. This nonpartisan, statewide alliance of individual and organizational members was founded in 2006 to ensure that every Marylander has access to comprehensive, affordable, high-quality health care.

Having health insurance can help you stay healthier and protect you from the high cost of a medical crisis. According to a 2009 Rand Corporation Study, about 80,000 adults in Prince George’s County are uninsured. That number is twice as many as in Howard County and one-third more than in Montgomery County. 

The new health insurance plans are available to all citizens and legal residents who do not have health insurance through an employer. The plans are offered through the Maryland Health Connection, the marketplace established by the state. Individuals and families can compare the available health plans and choose the one that is best for them. People may also qualify for federal premium tax credits and subsidies.

Leni Preston will explain how the enrollment process works. Enrollment in health plans began October l and will end March 31, 2014. People can enroll online, by phone, by fax, or in person. 

At least two Health Department Navigators for Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties will be at the meeting at about 2:00 p.m. to further explain how the enrollment process works. They will be available to answer specific questions about eligibility, arrange individual appointments, and begin the enrollment process. 

If you plan to begin the process for enrollment at the meeting, please bring your social security numbers (or documents for legal immigrants), employer and income information for every member of your household who needs coverage (pay stubs or W-2 forms), policy numbers for any current health plans covering members of your household, your employer’s address and phone, someone to contact about your health coverage at your job, the phone and email of that contact person, and, if possible, your employer’s Employer Identification Number.

If you are coming to begin the process of enrollment, please email David Norken at dnorken@verizon.net at least four days before the meeting so he can notify the Navigators of what workload they can expect so that they can respond accordingly.