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Health Insurance Tips
WE CAN HELP — Our health care policy experts are working to provide you with the resources you need to make the most of new health care consumer protections and tools.
Get The Best Deal On Health Insurance
Looking for health coverage? The Maryland Health Connection, the new health insurance marketplace, could save you time and money. Use our tips to make the most of this new tool.
1. Check out new options at the Maryland Health Connection. The plans include coverage for doctor visits, hospitalizations, preventive care, maternity care, emergency room care, prescriptions and more.
Toll-free: (855) 642-8572 TTY: (855) 642-8573
2. Find out about financial help that’s available. At the Maryland Health Connection, you can find out if you qualify for financial assistance to lower your costs.
3. Use the Maryland Health Connection to compare plans side-by-side. The new marketplace lists your options on one website, and shows what each plan covers.
4. Take advantage of expert help to compare plans in-person, online or by phone. Specially trained people are available in communities across the state to help you apply and understand your options. Find them at MarylandHealthConnection.gov.
5. Don’t take no for an answer. For coverage starting January 2014, insurance companies can no longer deny you due to a pre-existing condition.
6. Keep in touch. Check for updates on our website, and tell us about your experience. We want to hear what you think so we can spot trends and advocate for ongoing improvements. Contact us.
Health Care Consumer Protections
If you have coverage, you already have protections under the health care law, such as:
- Children and young adults can stay on their parents’ plan until age 26
- Free preventive care, including check-ups and vaccinations
- Insurance companies can’t set a lifetime cap on what they’ll pay if you get sick
- Rebates if your insurance company spends less than 80% of premiums on care
Plus, more consumer protections start in 2014, including:
- Insurers can’t deny anyone coverage for having a “pre-existing condition”
- No more annual caps on what your insurer will pay if you get sick
- Insurance companies can’t charge women more than men for coverage
Baltimore: From E. coli-infected romaine lettuce to Salmonella-tainted beef, contaminated foods lead to illnesses that sicken as many as 1 in 6 Americans annually. In 2018, this epidemic helped spur major recalls, which caused stores and restaurants to toss millions of pounds of meat and produce. Maryland PIRG Foundation’s new report How Safe is Our Food?, released today, reveals how fundamental flaws in our current food safety system have led to a jump in these recalls since 2013.
While our food safety system has improved significantly over the last 100 years, when toxics, fake foodstuffs and bacteria regularly infiltrated the supply, it is clear there is more work to do. A modern society relies on ensuring that the daily act of eating does not undermine the health of the population.
Today, Maryland PIRG Foundation released a new report from the Ecology Center’s Healthy Stuff program: Hidden Hazards: Flame Retardants and PFAS in Children’s Car Seats.
The Ecology Center's has released test results and product ratings in their 2018 report, Hidden Hazards: Flame Retardants & PFAS in Children's Car Seats.
For over 30 years, Maryland PIRG Foundation has conducted an annual survey of toys to look for safety problems. This research has led to more than 150 toy recalls and other regulatory actions over the years. Our work has also helped educate the public and policymakers on the need for continued action to protect the health and well-being of children.
Tools & Resources
Read the Health Insurance 101 guide below, or download the PDF here.Maryland PIRG Foundation
Maryland PIRG Foundation
Phase out meats produced with routine use of antibiotics.
Maryland Public Interest Research Group
COMAR 26.11.32 - Control of Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds from Consumer ProductsMaryland Public Interest Research Group
New data reveals widespread use of hormone-disrupting chemicals in cleaners, disinfectants, deodorizers, clothing, shoes, paints, and personal care products.A report from the Environmental Health Strategy Center & from Prevent Harm
Half of Baltimore stores carry certified non-toxic products. Find out where!Maryland PIRG Foundation
Restaurants that serve meat without the routine use of human antibioticsMaryland PIRG Foundation
Your tax-deductible donation supports Maryland PIRG Foundation's work to educate consumers on the issues that matter, especially when powerful interests are blocking progress.
You can also support Maryland PIRG Foundation’s work through bequests, contributions from life insurance or retirement plans, securities contributions and vehicle donations.