On Sept. 10, 2021, the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange was awarded $1.1 million ($1,107,392.87) by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to 100 percent fund the work proposed in a State Exchange Modernization grant.
In the State Exchange Modernization Grant, MHBE proposed to use this funding to modernize its eligibility and enrollment system, expand consumer education, and improve stakeholder training.
Some of the funding supports updates to system functionality which provided enhanced benefits under the American Rescue Plan through 2021 for consumers who received unemployment benefits in 2021. Returning the system logic to its prior state at the end of 2021 will also be supported by these funds.
In addition, grant funds will expand MHBE’s current ability to raise consumer awareness and encourage enrollment by utilizing digital strategies and outreach to target the largest share of eligible uninsured Marylanders – those above the 400% Federal Poverty Level bracket who are 19-34 years old. MHBE will use traditional and digital media, social media micro-influencers, and community outreach partnerships to reach this target audience.
A final portion of the grant will be used to modernize MHBE’s stakeholder training program to address current content gaps related to the American Rescue Plan, the end of the Medicaid certification extension period, the sunset of benefit enhancements for consumers who received unemployment compensation in 2021, and the creation of additional special enrollment periods in 2022 to best serve the needs of consumers and the Maryland marketplace.
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