Cumberland Times-News

September 23, 2013

What’s in it?

Forum aims to clear up health reform confusion


Cumberland Times-News

— Understanding the new health care law and how to obtain insurance will prove to be a daunting task for many uninsured Marylanders. A forum to be held in Cumberland Thursday may help clear up some of the confusion.

Scheduled for 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the conference room of the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center on Willowbrook Road, the forum is being offered by The Door to HealthCare, a non-profit agency that is working with a dozen partner organizations in Maryland’s six westernmost counties to explain the new health law and its options.

The program will benefit “any health care provider ... the uninsured or the underinsured, or anyone interested in becoming more informed about the Affordable Care Act,” said Robert Croft of the Allegany County Health Department.

Maryland Health Connection, the state’s entity for individuals, families and small businesses to compare and enroll in health insurance, estimates 14 percent of Maryland’s 5.8 million population, or 800,000, are currently uninsured. Also, an estimated 180,000 people are expected to enroll in qualified health plans during the first year of Maryland Health Connection’s operation.

Beginning Oct. 1, Marylanders will be able to sign up for health care coverage through Maryland Health Connection. The forum being sponsored by Door to HealthCare will provide free help for individuals to make a suitable health care choice.

The new health care law makes major changes in the rules of insurance that it’s important for people to understand, organizers said. For instance, insurance companies cannot put a dollar limit on lifetime coverage,  and insurers cannot cancel a policy because of a mistake in paperwork, according to the organization’s website.

More information about Door to HealthCare is available at its website,  www.doortohealthcare.org. Additional information about Maryland Health Connection, the enrollment process and selecting coverage can be found at www.MarylandHealthConnection.gov.