Cummings Encourages Marylanders to Sign Up for Health Insurance

November 1, 2018
Press Release

Baltimore, MD (October 31, 2018) – Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (MD-07) was joined by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Congressman John Sarbanes (MD-03), at a press conference to encourage Marylanders to sign up for health insurance during the upcoming Open Enrollment period.  From November 1, 2018, to December 15, 2018, Marylanders can purchase health insurance through Maryland Health Connection, the state’s insurance marketplace.  Other participants included Dr. Shelly Choo of the Baltimore City Health Department, Mr. Andrew Ratner of Maryland Health Connection, and Ms. Traci Kodeck of HealthCare Access Maryland.

“Today, I’m here begging you, do not let anything stand in your way and prevent you from enrolling in a health plan through Maryland Health Connection,” said Cummings.  “Everyone deserves access to healthcare that will improve their lives.  Healthcare is a right, not a privilege.”

"Despite the attempts of the Trump administration and congressional Republicans to sabotage our nation’s health care system, Maryland has fought to safeguard the consumer protections of the Affordable Care Act, including making sure those with pre-existing conditions have access to coverage.  Because of our efforts, insurance rates on the individual marketplace will decrease by an average of 14 percent from last year," said U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Health Care Subcommittee.  "I encourage all Marylanders to visit the Maryland Health Connection to shop for plans and choose the one that is best for yourselves and your families."

“Everyone deserves fair access to high-quality and affordable health care,” said Congressman Sarbanes.  “And the Maryland Health Connection has made tremendous strides in getting more people covered. Beginning tomorrow, Marylanders can once again start shopping for health plans through Maryland Health Connection and choose a plan that’s best for their individual or family needs.  This year, many rates are lower than they were last year. So, start shopping and get covered by visiting or by calling 1-855-642-8572.”

“Every resident should sign up for the coverage they need to protect their health. Health insurance and access to healthcare can prevent small problems from becoming life-threatening issues,” said Mary Beth Haller, interim Health Commissioner of the Baltimore City Health Department.  “No one plans on becoming sick or injured.  Health insurance provides financial protection, and the cost of not being insured is higher than the investment in getting affordable coverage.”

"Many plans cost less for 2019 and we offer plenty of expert advice at locations all over Maryland to help people enroll.  As our TV and radio ads say, if you've thought this was too hard or expensive for you before, 'Think Again,'" said Michele Eberle, executive director for the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, which operates

“Health insurance is more affordable this year, and Marylanders should start looking at the best option for them and their families,” said Traci Kodeck, president and CEO of HealthCare Access Maryland, the organization providing support to residents of Baltimore City and five other counties during Open Enrollment.  “Our team at HealthCare Access Maryland is trained and ready to help all Marylanders learn about what insurance plans are available and sign up for coverage before December 15th.  Get health insurance now and you will feel more secure about your health.”

According to Maryland Health Connection, because of the Affordable Care Act:

  • the uninsured population of Maryland is at an all-time low of 6.1%,
  • the percentage of African American residents with health insurance has increased from 89% in 2012 to 94% in 2016,
  • the percentage of Hispanic residents with health insurance has increased from 67% in 2012 to 79% in 2016, and,

Marylanders can visit or call 1-855-642-8572 to find out more information and sign up.