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Monday, October 21, 2013

Health Care Signups in Maryland

     Much has been written about the problems with signing up for the new Affordable Health Care Program.  Here in Maryland our program has experienced many of the same problems that other states and the Federal Government has had.  The problems seem to have been with the verification needed from various federal departments and the old technology used with the program.
     Not all states have had the problems experienced in Maryland.  Connecticut and Kentucky have been the two standout states for enrollment.  Kentucky just enrolled their 8,400th person.  Their success seems to indicated that letting people shop for insurance before setting up an online account works.  This would seem to have been a non brainer for people setting up the sites.  What online merchant requires setting up an account before shopping?  
    So where is Maryland today with enrollment? From information provided recently it sounds like the State has heard some of the complaints and are working to change things for the better:

"Marylanders have continued to show tremendous interest in accessing quality, affordable 
health coverage. Since October 1, we have seen more than 217,000 unique visitors to our 
website, there have been more than 15,000 calls to our call centers, and more than 25,000 
people have created identity-verified accounts. More than 16,000 Marylanders have learned 
whether or not they are eligible for financial assistance. 
We are beginning to learn more about the individuals who are exploring quality, affordable 
health care through Maryland Health Connection. Of the first 25,000 accounts created with 
verified identity, (1) the most common age group is 25 to 29 years of age; (2) 53 percent of 
account holders in Maryland are female; and (3) individuals creating accounts come from all 
parts of the state. 
In response to the feedback we’re hearing from users, and based on their suggestions, we 
are adding helpful information to the site. For example, we have posted a new webpage, 
Prepare for Enrollment, which (1) provides information on health plans; (2) shows sample 
rates for a range of example households; and (3) provides instructions on the documents 
needed for the application for financial assistance. 
In addition, our simple but powerful provider search tool allows consumers to search for a 
doctor and find out the plans in which their doctor participates. "
You can sign up with a paper application at a scheduled appointment at the following Howard County sites:

Healthy Howard, Inc./The Door to HealthCare Western Maryland - 8930 Stanford Blvd, Columbia 21045
Chase Brexton Health Services- 5500 Knoll North Dr., #370, Columbia 21045
Korean Resource Center- 10176 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City 21042
Howard County Department of Social Services- 7121 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia 21046
North Laurel-Savage Multiservice Center - 9900 Washington Boulevard, Laurel 20723

Residents should contact www.doortohealthcare.org or 855-288-DOOR (855-288-3667) to for hours of operation or to schedule an appointment at these or any other location.


P.S.
  From the Children's Time Preschool:
 
"Children’s Time Preschool is hosting a Fall Fest on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 10025 Shaker Drive, Columbia, MD from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. Join the school for games, crafts, food and prizes! The Fall Fest includes an Acorn Hunt for children of all ages at 10:30 am, a visit from Howard County firefighters and their fire truck at 11:00 am, and a trike-a-thon featuring CTP students. Come participate in our raffle at 11:45 am to win fantastic prizes, including passes to Jump Zone, Play N’ Learn, Gymboree and Columbia Ice Ring; gift cards to The Corner Stable Restaurant, Rob Raymer Photography, and TinyPrints; and special gifts from Greenberries and Lucy and Ethel’s. Join us for fun crafts including frame painting and pumpkin decorating, and for games including a cake walk, pin-the-face-on-the-pumpkin, a bean bag toss, and many more! Tickets for games and the raffle are only $1 each. Craft tickets are $2 per craft activity.
Children’s Time Preschool is a private, non-profit, co-operative preschool in King’s Contrivance,
Columbia. For more information on our teachers, our classes, our curriculum, the benefits of co-
operative education, and enrollment information, visit us at www.childrenstime.org "

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