Coverage of Maryland’s recent open enrollment

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Maryland health exchange’s second year much more successful than first

Washington Post 2/18/2015

“The second year of Maryland’s health insurance marketplace was much more successful than its first. During its second enrollment period, which began Nov. 15 and ended Sunday, the Maryland Health Connection enrolled 119,096 people in private insurance plans and 145,149 in Medicaid, the government-funded insurance program for the poor. The Maryland Health Connection is the state-run system that allows residents to shop for health insurance plans made possible by the federal Affordable Care Act.

State health officials are allowing Marylanders who started their application process by Sunday to take until the end of the month to formally enroll.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with how it has gone,” Carolyn Quattrocki, executive director of the marketplace, said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday afternoon. “It was a reflection of the need that was out there.”

Quattrocki’s excitement was echoed by U.S. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who was also on the call. “That’s a quarter of a million people who otherwise wouldn’t have had health insurance,” he said after rattling off the enrollment numbers. …”

Three reasons ObamaCare is up

The Hill 2/20/2015

“… state exchanges, like that in Maryland, also rebooted in 2015. Traffic on Maryland’s site increased 300 percent and enrollment on the exchange nearly doubled. “We really could not be more pleased with how it’s going,” Caroline Quattrocki, the executive director of Maryland’s exchange, told reporters Wednesday. “Last time around, we had to focus on the website working. Now we can really drill down on who’s left out there. …”

Maryland increases QHP enrollments by 89% over 2014: 119K QHPs thru 2/15

ACASignups.net 2/17/2015

“Holy Smokes. … 264,000 Marylanders enrolled through Maryland Health Connection for 2015, Qualified Health Plan enrollments top 119,000 … Wow. This broke not only the HHS Dept’s official target for Maryland (88K) as well as my own original target (105K), but even my recently-upgraded target (115K) …”

Health exchange turnaround

Baltimore Sun, 2/17/2015

“… Sunday was supposed to be the last day for Marylanders to enroll either in private insurance plans or Medicaid lest they be fined by the federal government for not having health insurance, as required by the Affordable Care Act. Given human nature and past experience, it was no surprise that a much larger than usual number of people tried to enroll that day. Some did not complete the process on time, but this year, it wasn’t the website that was the problem; despite experiencing triple the normal traffic, the site operated with only minor interruptions. The issue was that many of those enrolling wanted help from a human being in deciding what policy best met their needs. That’s a good thing. Buying health insurance is much more complicated than buying a book from Amazon, and some advice is often necessary. … The result, though, was that call volumes to the exchange ballooned, and wait times for service increased. … The solution the exchange arrived at, allowing an extension for those who were in the process of applying for coverage on Sunday, is basically like the post office assuring all those in line at midnight on April 15 that their income tax returns would be postmarked as being mailed on time …”

Maryland health exchange gets twice the enrollees in half the time this year

Baltimore Business Journal 2/17/2014

“Almost twice as many Marylanders bought insurance through the state’s health insurance exchange in half as much time this year compared to last. A total of 119,096 people bought private health insurance during the exchange’s three-month enrollment period, which was set to end Feb. 15. Just over 63,000 people had signed up for private health plans when the exchange’s inaugural, six-month enrollment period ended last March. …”