Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown announced today that Maryland has received a $123 million federal Level Two Establishment Grant to continue the development and implementation of the state-based health benefit exchange that will become operational by October 2013 under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), providing expanded access to quality, affordable health care to more Marylanders. In July, Governor O'Malley formally declared Maryland among the states that will be seeking certification from the federal government in January 2013 as a state-based exchange, demonstrating a commitment to achieve operational readiness.
Also announced today during an event at the University of Maryland Medical Center was the name for the marketplace where individuals and small businesses will shop and enroll for plans and programs. The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, in partnership with Medicaid and the Maryland Department of Human Resources, will operate the Maryland Health Connection (www.MarylandHealthConnection.gov) as the online portal where individuals, families and small businesses will compare health insurance options, determine eligibility for tax credits and cost-sharing reductions, and enroll in qualified health plans or public programs, such as Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beginning in October 2013 (for coverage effective January 2014).
"I am proud to join Lt. Governor Brown in celebrating the announcement of this federal grant to support our health benefit exchange, The Maryland Health Connection," said Congressman Elijah Cummings. "The Maryland Health Connection will play a critical role in broadening health care options for many of Maryland's residents. Through this exchange, Marylanders will have access to alternative insurance options in a competitive marketplace, empowering them to play an active role in protecting the health of themselves and their families. Maryland was one of the first states to implement its health care exchange, and I am certain we will continue to lead the way in improving health care access for all."
Marylanders can sign up for updates from Maryland Health Connection by visiting MarylandHealthConnection.gov or texting "CONNECTED" to 69302.