Click for a printer-friendly version of Health Insurance Options.Marylanders have a number of options available to help cover the cost of health care, depending upon their employment status, coverage needs and ability to pay. Here is a list of some of those options.Option 1: Coverage through an Employer’s PlanAsk your employer whether it offers health insurance benefits and whether you are eligible to participate in your employer’s group plan. Some employers only offer this benefit to full-time employees; others offer it to part-time employees as well. Some employers also pay a portion of their employees’ health insurance premiums.Option 2: Individual Health Insurance
You can purchase an individual policy for yourself or your family during the annual “open enrollment period,” when everyone is eligible to apply for new health insurance, or within 60 days of certain qualifying life events.Open enrollment for 2018 plans has ended. The open enrollment period for 2019 coverage through Maryland Health Connection, the State’s official health insurance marketplace, is November 1 to December 15, 2018. (However, if you’re eligible for Medicaid, you can enroll year-round. See Option 6 below.) Under certain circumstances known as “life events,” however, you may enroll in a health plan through Maryland Health Connection outside the annual open enrollment period.Some examples of life events that might qualify you to enroll outside of the annual open enrollment period, known as “special enrollment,” include:
If you have questions about special enrollment, call Maryland Health Connection at 1-855-642-8572 (TTY: 1-855-642-8573).
You can enroll in an individual health insurance policy by contacting the insurance company , a licensed insurance agent or broker (also known as a “producer”), or Maryland Health Connection. If you purchase a policy through Maryland Health Connection, you may qualify for tax credits that can be applied to reduce the premium you pay each month. You also may qualify for cost-sharing reductions to lower your out-of-pocket costs, such as your copays, deductibles and coinsurance.
For more information, contact Maryland Health Connection at 1-855-642-8572 or go to its website, www.marylandhealthconnection.gov. Click here for a list of carriers currently offering individual health insurance policies in Maryland: https://insurance.maryland.gov/Consumer/Documents/publicnew/indmktcarriers.pdf (or call the Maryland Insurance Administration at 1-800-492-6116). When comparing plans, it may be helpful for you to use our Health Insurance Shopping Tool.
Short Term Individual Policies
If you need coverage for only three months or less, you may be eligible to purchase a short-term individual policy. These plans may use your health history to deny you a policy or to deny claims for pre-existing conditions. Make sure this type of policy will meet your needs before you purchase one. You may enroll in these short-term individual plans year-round. For more information, go to: https://insurance.maryland.gov/Consumer/Pages/Is-a-Short-Term-Medical-Plan-for-You.aspx.
Option 3: A Family Member’s Policy
If you are married and your spouse has health insurance, you may be able to be added to that policy. Similarly, if you are under the age of 26, you may be eligible for coverage under a parent’s policy. If your family member’s insurance is through an employer, your family member should check with the employer’s human resources department to determine whether the employer offers coverage for spouses or children. If your family member’s insurance is through another entity (an association, for example) or is an individual plan, your family member should check with the entity or insurance company.
200 St. Paul Place, Suite 2700, Baltimore, MD 21202
410-468-2000 | 1-800-492-6116 (toll free) | 1-800-735-2258 (TTY)