Affordable Care Act and the Marketplace

The Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program provides health insurance enrollment help as a partner for Maryland Health Connection, the state’s official health insurance marketplace under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA).

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.


What do Health Insurance plans cover?

All qualified health plans sold through Maryland Health Connection (except Catastrophic plans) provide the same core benefits and offer free preventive services.

  • Doctor visits
  • Hospitalization
  • Emergency care
  • Maternity and newborn care
  • Pediatric care, including dental and vision benefits
  • Prescription drugs
  • Laboratory tests
  • Mental health care
  • Substance abuse treatment

Plans also cover preventive care, for free. Plans through Maryland Health Connection cover preventive services like checkups, shots, and screenings at no extra cost, even if you haven’t met your yearly deductible.


More information can be found on: Choosing a plan or What do plans cover?




The impact of the Affordable Care Act in Maryland:

Hundreds of thousands of Marylanders have gained coverage, and millions more have had their coverage substantially improved. The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange in 2016 has continued to make significant progress toward providing accessible, affordable health coverage through the state marketplace. More than 1 million Marylanders are now covered through Maryland Health Connection.


Some highlights from 2016:

  • 162,652 Marylanders enrolled in Qualified Health Plans for 2016 plans – a 33% increase from previous year.
  • 30,313 Marylanders enrolled in 2016 Dental Plans.
  • 125 licensed, trained Navigators are available to help Marylanders through the enrollment process.
  • 1,000 licensed, trained Brokers are available to help Marylanders through the enrollment process.
  • Including Medicaid, 1,110,706 have been insured through Maryland Health Connection as of September 30th 2016 – 1 of every 6 people in Maryland!
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the uninsured rate in Maryland has been cut in half – from 14.5% in 2010 to 6.6% in 2015.
  • The Lower Shore 2016 uninsured rate is:

o   Worcester County:  5%, a decrease of 9% from 2013

o   Somerset County:  7%, a decrease of 11% from 2013

o   Wicomico County:  6 %, a decrease of 10% from 2013

Data Retrieved from: Maryland Health Benefit Exchange (MHBE), Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), and Enroll America, Research, and Data. 

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