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.
Online: MarylandHealthConnection.gov
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

See more information about the health care law, the Affordable Care Act

Issue updates

News Release | Maryland PIRG Foundation, NRDC, Fashion FWD | Public Health

New scorecard grades popular apparel brands on commitments to avoiding PFAS

Maryland PIRG Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. (NRDC) and Fashion FWD released a scorecard on Wednesday ranking popular retail and apparel brands on policy commitments to eliminate a dangerous class of toxic “forever chemicals,” known as PFAS, from their products.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Public Health

New report: The threat of "Forever Chemicals" in Maryland

In the last year, the Maryland Department of the Environment has uncovered widespread drinking water contamination from per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, more commonly known as PFAS, and issued their first fish consumption advisory due to PFAS contamination in Piscataway Creek. 

> Keep Reading
Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Public Health

The Threat of "Forever Chemicals"

 Sometimes known by the moniker “forever chemicals” because they are nearly indestructible in the environment, PFAS build up in the bodies of humans over time and persist in the environment. 

> Keep Reading
News Release | Maryland PIRG Foundation and Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center | Public Health

Group issues new toolkit on lead in school’s drinking water

With kids finally back to school in-person this fall, Maryland PIRG Foundation and Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center released a new toolkit today to help parents, teachers and administrators Get the Lead Out of school drinking water. 

> Keep Reading
News Release | Maryland PIRG Foundation, Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center, and Frontier Group | Public Health

Trouble in the Air: Marylanders suffered through dozens of days with elevated air pollution in 2020

The Baltimore Metropolitan Area, home to nearly 3 million people, experienced 43 days of elevated air pollution in 2020, according to a new report from Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center, Frontier Group and Maryland PIRG Foundation. Many metropolitan areas throughout Maryland faced similar levels of air pollution, increasing the risk of premature death, asthma attacks, cancer and other adverse health impacts.

> Keep Reading

Pages

News Release | Maryland PIRG Foundation, NRDC, Fashion FWD | Public Health

New scorecard grades popular apparel brands on commitments to avoiding PFAS

Maryland PIRG Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. (NRDC) and Fashion FWD released a scorecard on Wednesday ranking popular retail and apparel brands on policy commitments to eliminate a dangerous class of toxic “forever chemicals,” known as PFAS, from their products.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Public Health

New report: The threat of "Forever Chemicals" in Maryland

In the last year, the Maryland Department of the Environment has uncovered widespread drinking water contamination from per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, more commonly known as PFAS, and issued their first fish consumption advisory due to PFAS contamination in Piscataway Creek. 

> Keep Reading
News Release | Maryland PIRG Foundation and Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center | Public Health

Group issues new toolkit on lead in school’s drinking water

With kids finally back to school in-person this fall, Maryland PIRG Foundation and Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center released a new toolkit today to help parents, teachers and administrators Get the Lead Out of school drinking water. 

> Keep Reading
News Release | Maryland PIRG Foundation, Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center, and Frontier Group | Public Health

Trouble in the Air: Marylanders suffered through dozens of days with elevated air pollution in 2020

The Baltimore Metropolitan Area, home to nearly 3 million people, experienced 43 days of elevated air pollution in 2020, according to a new report from Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center, Frontier Group and Maryland PIRG Foundation. Many metropolitan areas throughout Maryland faced similar levels of air pollution, increasing the risk of premature death, asthma attacks, cancer and other adverse health impacts.

> Keep Reading

Statement: Johnson & Johnson recalls sunscreen products after tests detect carcinogens

Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. said Wednesday it’s voluntarily recalling all lots of five types of Neutrogena and Aveeno aerosol sunscreen after internal testing showed “low levels of benzene” -- which can cause cancer -- in some samples. J&J also said consumers should stop using the sunscreen.

> Keep Reading

Pages

Result | Public Health

Victory: Macy's commits to phase out toxic flame retardents

We did it: Macy's announced it will stop selling furniture that contains toxic flame retardants.

> Keep Reading
Result | Public Health

Victory: Subway Announces Plan to Go Antibiotic Free

We're ecstatic that Subway will be living up to the healthy image they've created. They have more restaurants in the U.S. than any other chain, and their announcement will put major market pressure on the meat producers to stop overusing antibiotics.

> Keep Reading
Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Public Health

The Threat of "Forever Chemicals"

 Sometimes known by the moniker “forever chemicals” because they are nearly indestructible in the environment, PFAS build up in the bodies of humans over time and persist in the environment. 

> Keep Reading
Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation and Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center | Public Health

A Perfect Storm

SINCE 1980, THE ENVIRONMENTAL Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Superfund” toxic waste cleanup program has been responsible for identifying the worst toxic waste sites across the country and holding polluters accountable to cover the cost of cleaning them up. When the polluting party cannot be found or afford the cleanup, the Superfund program has the authority and funds to clean up the site. 

> Keep Reading
Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation and Environment Maryland Education Fund | Public Health

Superfund Underfunded

The Superfund program was originally funded by a tax on the chemical and petroleum industries, but that tax expired in 1995, and now the money for the Superfund program has come primarily through appropriations from the general revenue.

> Keep Reading
Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Public Health

Chain Reaction V

The Chain Reaction V report grades the top fast food and fast casual chanins on antibiotic use policies for their beef supply chains. 

> Keep Reading
Report | Maryland PIRG | Public Health

Get the Lead Out

Our children need safe drinking water – especially at school where they go to learn and play each day.  Unfortunately, lead is contaminating drinking water at schools and pre-schools across the country.  As our report shows, states are failing to make the grade when it comes to keeping lead out of drinking water at school.  Instead of waiting for more testing, we need to proactively remove the lead pipes and plumbing at the root of this toxic hazard for our children.

> Keep Reading

Pages

Blog Post | Consumer Tips, COVID-19, Public Health

After 20 people die and dozens become ill, FDA finally flags hand sanitizer from Mexico | Teresa Murray

Consumers still at risk for harmful over-the-counter drug products of all types because of soft federal regulations.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Tips, COVID-19, Public Health

20 Questions to Ask Your Nursing Home during COVID | Teresa Murray

Whether you have a loved one currently in a nursing home or rehabilitation facility, or whether you’re shopping for one, you should arm yourself with a list of questions to gauge how safe the environment is. Here’s a guide to those questions, and the answers you should expect.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | COVID-19, Public Health

By The Numbers: Is Maryland on Track to Reopen Safely? | Emily Scarr

Some people and businesses are feeling intense pressure to resume economic activity, but Maryland’s recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases and limited testing and tracing capacity indicates that we are not ready to begin the process of reopening safely as outlined in Governor Hogan’s Roadmap to Recovery. Here, we’ll look at the numbers that explain why. 

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Tips, COVID-19, Public Health, Consumer Protection

Cleaning and disinfecting safely during the coronavirus outbreak | Emily Scarr

If you’re like me, you’re spending a lot more time cleaning while sheltering in place. My increased time at home cooking, working, and playing with my children makes a lot of mess! I am also cleaning more as a way to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. I enjoy my cleaning routine; in a day full of zoom calls and wrangling small children, it’s nice to take a break to listen to the radio or music while I wipe down the counters or sweep the floor. 

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Public Health

Toxic triclosan in toothpaste? | Dev Gowda

A recent article in the LA Times revealed that a new study found that the toxic compound triclosan, which is commonly found in toothpaste as well as other consumer products such as cosmetics, children’s toys, and yoga mats, “could cause adverse effects on colonic inflammation and colon cancer.”

> Keep Reading

Pages

News Release | Maryland PIRG Foundation, NRDC, Fashion FWD

Maryland PIRG Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. (NRDC) and Fashion FWD released a scorecard on Wednesday ranking popular retail and apparel brands on policy commitments to eliminate a dangerous class of toxic “forever chemicals,” known as PFAS, from their products.

Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation

 Sometimes known by the moniker “forever chemicals” because they are nearly indestructible in the environment, PFAS build up in the bodies of humans over time and persist in the environment. 

News Release | Maryland PIRG Foundation

In the last year, the Maryland Department of the Environment has uncovered widespread drinking water contamination from per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, more commonly known as PFAS, and issued their first fish consumption advisory due to PFAS contamination in Piscataway Creek. 

News Release | Maryland PIRG Foundation and Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center

With kids finally back to school in-person this fall, Maryland PIRG Foundation and Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center released a new toolkit today to help parents, teachers and administrators Get the Lead Out of school drinking water. 

News Release | Maryland PIRG Foundation, Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center, and Frontier Group

The Baltimore Metropolitan Area, home to nearly 3 million people, experienced 43 days of elevated air pollution in 2020, according to a new report from Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center, Frontier Group and Maryland PIRG Foundation. Many metropolitan areas throughout Maryland faced similar levels of air pollution, increasing the risk of premature death, asthma attacks, cancer and other adverse health impacts.

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