Day One: Ready, Set, Enroll

Maryland Health Secretary Dr. Joshua Sharfstein (l) and Maryland Health Benefit Exchange Executive Director Carolyn Quattrocki (r) with first enrollee for 2015, Esmeralda Beanda of Catonsville.
Maryland Health Secretary Dr. Joshua Sharfstein (l) and Maryland Health Benefit Exchange Executive Director Carolyn Quattrocki (r) with first enrollee for 2015, Esmeralda Beanda of Catonsville.

Seeing was believing. The Maryland health insurance marketplace got off to a good start Saturday when 123 households were enrolled at the first sign-up fair of the season held by Health Care Access Maryland (HCAM) at Corkran Middle School in Glen Burnie. The school’s cafeteria buzzed with activity as about 50 “navigators” guided people through the application process. More than 200 people attended the event, coming from as far as Hagerstown. Some took home information to consider their coverage options. Of those who completed applications, about three-quarters of the completed applications were for private Qualified Health Plans (QHP). One-quarter applied for Medicaid.

The event was the first of more than 20 HealthConnectNow! enrollment fairs scheduled until the Feb. 15, 2015 end of the current open enrollment. The next HealthConnectNow! fair will be held Saturday, Nov. 22, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center, 500 Glen Ave., in Salisbury. Details about times, dates and locations for the enrollment events are available here.

“During the past year, 460,000 Marylanders have gotten health care through the Affordable Care Act,” Governor Martin O’Malley said in a statement released after the event. “Today, we took a great step forward to assisting thousands of more Marylanders find quality, affordable coverage.”