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Gov. O’Malley Signs Bill On Health Exchange Problems

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Uninsured Marylanders get another crack at health care coverage retroactive to Jan. 1.

Pat Warren reports hundreds may benefit from emergency legislation signed into law Thursday.

The fix is in for Marylanders stumped by the state’s health care website.

“This is really a safety net for people who really need the coverage and the website didn’t work for them,” said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein.

There were an estimated 5,000 failures on the website that prevented people from enrolling. Those who missed the deadline for coverage Jan. 1 may opt for the Maryland health insurance plan.

“Some have asked me why are we doing this if it affects so few people. The reason we do this is because if it affects just one family, it is worth the effort,” said Governor O’Malley.

Dwayne Henderson is one of them.

“I’m ready, willing and able. I’ve not been able to sign up,” he said.

For folks like Henderson caught in the web, this bill gives them another chance at coverage from January on, who tried and through no fault of their own missed the first two deadlines. Governor O’Malley expects several hundred to benefit.

“Especially depending on the condition or the size of a hospital bill or other treatment bill incurred that could be the difference between keeping the house and not keeping the house,” the governor said.

The governor says the health connection exchange is still moving forward to enroll as many people as possible before the next deadline.

The deadline for coverage is March 31, after which, the federal government will impose fines on the uninsured.

The health exchange will be contacting people who could not access the web.

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