Insurers agree to short delay for January enrollment through Maryland health exchange


Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. (AP Photo/Brian Witte)
December 17, 2013

Consumers seeking to obtain coverage starting Jan. 1 through Maryland’s online health insurance exchange will get a few more days to apply, Gov. Martin O’Malley said Tuesday.

O’Malley (D) said that all private insurers participating in the exchange, which has been riddled with technical glitches, have agreed to extend the enrollment deadline for January from Dec. 23 to Dec. 27.

CareFirst was the first insurer to make that accommodation, which O’Malley announced Monday. On Tuesday, O’Malley said the others are following suit.

O’Malley declared over the weekend that nine major technological problems hindering enrollment on the exchange had been fixed. On Monday, some users of the state-run site still reported problems, and officials said a computer server had malfunctioned.

Even so, the state experienced it’s highest single-day enrollment to date on Monday, according to O’Malley’s office.

“We know the improvements to MarylandHealthConnection.gov are making a difference because we are seeing more and more people successfully completing the process every day,” O’Malley said in a statement. “We will continue making improvements to the site, and we are pleased that all carriers have agreed to extend the deadline for coverage.”

As of Friday, 7,435 people had chosen to enroll in private plans through the exchange, which launched Oct. 1, according to figures released by O’Malley’s office. The state has set a goal of enrolling 150,000 people by the end of March, a target that O’Malley has continued to stick by.

An additional 22,323 people had enrolled in Medicaid through the exchange as of Friday, officials said. The goal for Medicaid is 110,000 people by the end of March.

John Wagner has covered Maryland government and politics for The Post since 2004.
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