Frequently Asked Questions:


What is Maryland Health Connection?

Maryland Health Connection is the only place where Marylanders can access financial help such as tax credits to make coverage more affordable. provides a single application to enroll in Medicaid or get financial help with a qualified health plan.

The Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program is a partner of Maryland Health Connection. Our trained staff provides health insurance enrollment help and ongoing assistance to residents in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties.


How do I know if I am eligible for coverage through Maryland Health Connection?

All uninsured Maryland residents can apply for health insurance through Maryland Health Connection from November to January. Medicaid enrollment is open year-round.

When you apply, you’ll see if you are eligible for financial help to lower your health insurance costs with a private plan, or if you’re eligible for Medicaid or the Maryland Children’s Health Program.

You can also browse plans and prices, and get an estimate of financial help available, online at or set up an appointment with our staff at 855-445-5540.


When is the Maryland Health Connection application available?

The online application is available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.  


Do I Qualify for Financial Help?

Maryland Health Connection is our state's health insurance marketplace where you can shop, compare and enroll in quality health coverage that fits your needs.

Look up your household size and income below to see if you may qualify for Medicaid coverage or financial assistance to reduce the cost of your health insurance. Learn more here about who is part of your “household” when applying for health coverage, and how to estimate your income.







Why is health insurance important?

Health coverage helps to cover the costs of care when you need it. No one plans to get sick or hurt, but most people need medical care at some point. Did you know that the average cost of a 3-day hospital stay is $30,000? Health coverage helps pay for these costs and protects you from very high expenses. There are other important benefits of health insurance, for instance, free preventative care services and cover some of the costs for prescription drugs.

What do all these insurance terms mean?

Health insurance terms can be difficult to understand. Maryland Health Connection has created a glossary to clarify frequently used words or phrases in the health insurance marketplace. Click: Glossary to view.

How do I understand how much my plan will cost?

After you enroll in a plan, you'll recieve a monthly bill (the premium) you have to pay every month, on time, to stay covered. There are alos costs you may pay when you use medical services:

  • Deductible - the amount you owe for covered health care services before your health insurance or plan begins to pay. 
  • Coinsurance - your share of the costs of a covered health care service, calculated as a percentage of the allowed amount for the service. For example, you may pay a coinsurance of 20% of the cost for a medical test. You plan pays for the rest. 
  • Copayment - a fixed amount you pay (for example, $15) for a covered service, such as a doctor visit. 

What Insurance Companies Participate in Maryland Health Connection?

Medical insurance companies offer statewide plans, region-specific plans or a combination of both.

Medical insurance companies:

  • CareFirst
  • Kaiser Permanente

Dental care is important part of your overall health. Enroll in a dental-only plan or add dental when you buy a health plan!

Dental insurance companies:

  • Alpha Dental
  • Delta Dental
  • Dentegra Dominion Dental Services
  • CareFirst
  • DentaQuest

It is highly recommended to check with your physician to see what insurance carrier plans they accept.

Learn more from Maryland Health Connection about choosing a health plan and about dental plans.

Small Businesses: owners and employees, what do I do?

The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) enables small businesses and their employees to compare and select from qualified health plans from private insurers and select the plans that suit their needs and budgets. SHOP is a program of Maryland Health Connection. SHOP has no specific open enrollment period, so you can sign up at any time.

The Small Business Health Options Program will provide small employers a way of offering coverage they have never had before. The “employee choice” model allows small businesses to offer multiple carriers to their employees as opposed to just one carrier. Additionally, some small businesses will also be able to qualify for tax credits up to 50 percent if they contribute to the cost of employee coverage.

Your small business may qualify for the tax credit for providing health insurance to employees if:

  • You contribute at least 50 percent toward employee premium costs;
  • You employ 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees; and
  • You pay an average annual salary of less than $50,000.

The contribution requirement also applies to vision, dental and o, her add-on coverage. Employers with 10 or fewer full-time equivalent employees paying an average annual wage of $25,000 or less are eligible for the maximum tax credit. 


How do I run the App on my cell phone?



The Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program is provided by the Worcester County Health Department.WoCHD logo