BALTIMORE (WJZ) — More than 201,000 Marylanders enrolled in the Maryland Health Connection’s Coronavirus Emergency Special Enrollment from March 16, 2020, to Aug. 15, 2021, according to the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, which administers the connection program.

The special enrollment in response to the pandemic was one of the longest of any state, according to a statement from the exchange. The enrollment was extended several times as the pandemic continued.

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Nearly 127,000 enrolled in Medicaid; nearly 55,000 enrolled in private plans and qualified for financial help; and nearly 21,000 enrolled in private plans without financial help.

Young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 were the largest age group to enroll, numbering nearly 70,000. Across all age groups, Blacks and Hispanics were the largest ethnicities, numbering more than 60,000 and nearly 26,000, respectively.

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Marylanders next can enroll in private health insurance through the connection for the 2022 coverage year starting Nov. 1. Special enrollment is available for those who have certain life changes. Eligible Marylanders also may enroll in Medicaid at any time.

Next year, many will be eligible for new lower costs because of the American Rescue Plan Act, and those who did not qualify for financial help for private insurance due to higher income now will be eligible, according to the statement. Maryland will offer additional premium assistance for adults between the ages of 19 and 34.

Information is available on MarylandHealthConnection.gov, through the Enroll MHC app or by calling 855-642-8572.

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CBS Baltimore Staff