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Media Release                                                                                                      April 16, 2020




Special Enrollments for Coronavirus Emergency, Tax Filers Allow Uninsured    Additional Opportunities to Enroll Through Maryland Health Connection


BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange today announced that more than 21,500 residents have enrolled in coverage through the state’s health insurance marketplace, Maryland Health Connection. Earlier this month, the deadlines for both special enrollment periods were extended to accommodate growing health concerns as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the new tax filing deadline.


The coronavirus special enrollment period, which began a month ago and now runs through June 15, has resulted in more than 19,000 residents obtaining health coverage — 61 percent in Medicaid and the remainder in private insurance, with most of those qualifying for financial help to lower the cost of the plan.


The Maryland Easy Enrollment Health Insurance Program, a partnership between the Office of Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot and the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, has resulted in nearly 2,500 residents getting coverage. The extended deadline for this special enrollment period, now July 15, coincides with the new state income tax filing and payment deadline.


“It is good to see so many Marylanders taking the opportunity that is provided by our special enrollment periods to get coverage for themselves and their families, but many across the state still need health insurance,” said Michele Eberle, executive director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange.


“We want to make sure as many people as possible use these special enrollment periods to get covered,” added Eberle. “We’re doing everything in our power to reach the uninsured, but the reality is that it’s going to take all of us. If you know someone who does not have health insurance, please tell them to visit our website or call our call center. Any eligible uninsured resident who does not have health coverage can get it now, during the coronavirus emergency special enrollment period. So, if you’re reading this right now, do your part and share this information.”


To get coverage through the Maryland Easy Enrollment Health Insurance Program, it is as simple as checking a box. When prompted on state tax forms (502 and 502B) filers have the option to share information, like household size and income, with the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange to see if they are eligible for free or low-cost health insurance. Choosing to check the box will result in Maryland Health Benefit Exchange mailing the tax filer a letter to let them know if they are eligible for free or low-cost health coverage.


To enroll, visit Individuals also can download the free “Enroll MHC” mobile app. Free consumer assistance is available by calling 855-642-8572 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.


Help is available in more than 200 languages through the call center, as well as Relay service for the deaf and hard of hearing. Trained navigators and brokers statewide will offer help enrolling over the phone. You can find locations and contact information at or on the mobile app.


Last year, nine out of 10 Marylanders who enrolled through Maryland Health Connection were eligible for free coverage or financial help to lower the cost of their coverage. This special enrollment period is for private health plans. Those who qualify for Medicaid may enroll any time of year.




Maryland Health Benefit Exchange: (MHBE) is a public corporation and independent unit of the state government. It was established in 2011 in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) and is responsible for the administration of Maryland Health Connection.


Maryland Health Connection: One of every six Marylanders receive their health coverage through Maryland Health Connection (MHC), the state-based health insurance marketplace. Residents can compare and enroll in health insurance as well as determine eligibility for Medicaid or financial help with private plans.



Betsy Plunkett, Director, Marketing & Web Strategies