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Emergency enrollment for Obamacare health insurance extended for another month

Marylanders who do not have health insurance will now have until July 15 to enroll in a plan through the state’s health exchange, state health officials announced Thursday.

Health officials opened a special enrollment period in March in response to the coronavirus pandemic that has left thousands of people unemployed and without health coverage. The state exchange, created under the federal Affordable Care Act, already has enrolled an additional 43,000 people.

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Those who lose their job and health coverage normally have 60 days to enroll in exchange coverage. This special period allows people to sign up before or after that period has ended.

In addition to general health insurance benefits, the exchange plans cover testing and treatment for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, officials said.

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Coverage for those who enroll now through the Maryland Health Connection would start July 1. Most people qualify for subsidies to help cover premiums for private plans. Other people may qualify for free coverage under the state’s Medicaid program.

“Access to health coverage is important every day,” said Michele Eberle, executive director of Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, which oversees the online insurance marketplace. “However, the coronavirus pandemic has heightened awareness of that need, and we’ve seen a tremendous response of people enrolling in health insurance. We want to ensure that as many people as possible get the coverage they need.”

To enroll, go to MarylandHealthConnection.gov or call 855-642-8572.

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