Worcester Health receives grant for regional health insurance consumer assistance program

Worcester County Health Department is pleased to announce it has been selected by the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange to implement a regional consumer assistance program to help educate, determine eligibility and enroll uninsured residents into private health plans or Medicaid.

The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange is the public corporation and unit of Maryland state government responsible for the implementation of the state-based insurance exchange through the Affordable Care Act.

The anticipated $1.2 million grant will fund the new program which includes staff who will provide face-to-face assistance with navigating Maryland Health Connection, the state-based health insurance marketplace, in Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties. The Lower Shore program operated by the Worcester County Health Department will employ 17 new positions to provide outreach, education, eligibility determination and enrollment services particularly to hard-to-reach populations. 
Education and outreach about Maryland Health Connection will begin this summer. Open enrollment for the health benefit plans will take place October 2013 – March 2014.

Health insurance protects you from high costs when you get sick or hurt. Did you know the average cost of a 3-day hospital stay is $30,000? Or that fixing a broken leg can cost up to $7,500? Having health insurance can help protect you from unexpected costs like these, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website healthcare.gov.

Project staff will be highly accessible and able to answer questions, inform, and enroll residents of Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties. Details about office hours, enrollment services, call center and other operations will be announced late summer after staff complete necessary training and certification. 

For more information about Maryland Health Connection visit www.MarylandHealthConnection.gov.

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 Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program