ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan on Thursday announced that more than 166,000 Marylanders enrolled in private health coverage for 2021 through Maryland Health Connection—the largest enrollment ever on the state’s health insurance marketplace—which represents a 4.5% increase of about 7,100 enrollees since the previous year.
“I am pleased to see so many Marylanders taking advantage of our state’s impressive health insurance marketplace, especially as we battle the COVID-19 pandemic, ” said Governor Hogan. “With one of the longest COVID-19 special enrollment periods in the country, we continue to work to increase healthcare access and affordability in Maryland.”
Enrollment was bolstered by a reinsurance program that Governor Hogan and the General Assembly created in 2018 that has lowered consumer prices for the past three years, and by a special enrollment launched in response to the COVID-19 emergency that has covered more than 100,000 Marylanders in Medicaid and private coverage during the past nine months. It was among the longest COVID-related special enrollments in the country.
This year’s enrollment also exceeded the peak year of 2016 when 162,652 enrolled through the Maryland health insurance marketplace, which launched in 2013 for residents who purchase their own coverage on the individual health insurance market.
Enrollment for 2021 grew in every jurisdiction in the state. New enrollments decreased compared to renewals. One-third of those enrollments—nearly 33,000—were in private insurance. The remaining two-thirds—nearly 70,000—enrolled in Medicaid. State enrollment in income-based Medicaid, which is available to qualified residents year-round, increased by 8% since last year.
Despite the unique challenges posed by the pandemic, the Maryland Health Connection call center assisted thousands of consumers in shopping and applying for health insurance during the 45-day open enrollment period from November 1 to December 15.