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"Maryland is Ready!"

PHOTO: Officials, including the Lt. Governor, are promoting the state's new insurance marketplace: Maryland Health Connection. Photo credit: Executive Office of the Governor
PHOTO: Officials, including the Lt. Governor, are promoting the state's new insurance marketplace: Maryland Health Connection. Photo credit: Executive Office of the Governor
June 20, 2013

BALTIMORE, Md. - More than 750,000 Marylanders don't have health insurance, and a new state agency is trying to reach them. The www.MarylandHBE.com.
Maryland Health Benefit Exchange (MHBE) is hosting a series of public forums this summer to raise awareness of the new health insurance marketplace that will be launched on October 1.

Tequila Terry directs Plan and Partner Management for the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. She said the exchange, a requirement of the Affordable Care Act, will be an online resource where Marylanders can find and compare government-sponsored and private insurance options.

"The idea is that Maryland Health Connection is going to create one portal, one system that allows people to go one place to be able to get information about a variety of insurance options that meet their needs," Terry explained.

The exchange also will provide information about tax credits and subsidies to make insurance more affordable, she added.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed this week that many federal and state agencies have missed deadlines in setting up new health-insurance exchanges for small businesses and consumers. Terry said Maryland is ready to provide access to coverage and care for the 13 percent of the state population that is not insured.

"There's a tremendous need for a new marketplace to be able to get those people who are currently relying on emergency-room services as their primary care vehicle," she said.

More information about the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange is available by emailing MarylandHealthConnection.gov, or at www.MarylandHBE.com.

Alison Burns, Public News Service - MD