ANNAPOLIS, Md. (CBSDC/AP) — Maryland launched an initiative on Thursday to help residents get health insurance under the federal health care law.
Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange announced the start of the Connector Program, which will be funded with about $24 million in anticipated state and federal grants. The money will be used to fund six organizations that will provide consumer assistance and enrollment resources throughout the state.
The new health care navigators and assisters will work to help individuals and small employers through outreach, eligibility determination and enrollment into Medicaid and qualified health plans.
“By working together to implement the Affordable Care Act, we aren’t just helping Marylanders get the care they need, we’re also creating over 300 jobs across our state,” Brown said in a statement.
About $8.5 million in state funds will be used to support navigator staff costs, according to the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. An anticipated $16 million in federal grants will support program start-up costs and assisters.
A regional approach is being taken to provide in-person assistance as the new health insurance coverage options become available in October. Each organization will help consumers learn about and apply for an appropriate health insurance product, including Medicaid, the Maryland Children’s Health Program and subsidized and non-subsidized qualified health plans.