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Opening Day: Maryland's New Health Insurance Exchange Opens Today

Credit: Kurhan / stock.xchng

The federal government is closed today, but the Maryland Health Connection is open. It's the state's new online marketplace for consumers to comparison-shop and buy their own health insurance. We talk with Rebecca Pearce, executive director of the marketplace, as well as with executives of two of Maryland's health insurers about what consumers should expect.

For the past month, we’ve spoken with a lot of people about the Affordable Care Act. All of our conversations, were in some way, about today. It is Tuesday, October 1st. The government is closed. Maryland’s new health insurance exchange will open today. NOTE: As of 10 a.m., the Maryland Health Connection is experiencing "connectivity issues". They're asking consumers to try the site again at noon.

If you’re looking for health insurance, there are probably two things you want to know: "How does the new exchange work and how much will insurance cost?" Today, we talk with Rebecca Pearce, Executive Director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, which runs the Maryland Health Connection. Then, we ask Christine Hall of Healthy Howard, which helps those in western Maryland navigate the exchange, how things are going so far. Plus, we talk with Chet Burrell, President and Chief Executive Officer of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Maryland's largest health insurer, about premiums.

Produced by Matt Purdy.

Our series ‘The Checkup: How Health Care Is Changing in Maryland’ is made possible by grants from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, the Baltimore Association of Health Underwriters, and HealthCare Access Maryland.