Call to Action! Rally to Save Maryland Health Care

WHAT: 

This Sunday, January 15th, is a NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION and people all over the country will be rallying to save health care.  Community activists and state and local elected leaders including Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin, County Executives Rushern Baker and Ike Leggett, Representatives Steny Hoyer, Anthony Brown, John Sarbanes, Jamie Raskin, John Delaney and many others. 

WHEN:

Please join us at 2 pm (doors open at 1:30 pm) on Sunday in Bowie Maryland to show your commitment to protecting healthcare and fighting to save the ACA. 

WHERE:

Bowie Student Center Ballroom. Bowie State University
14000 Jericho Park Road, Bowie MD 20715
PARKING: Lot J-1

HOW:  REGISTER HERE

Maryland Congressional Delegation Turns Out in Support of ACA

On Saturday, January 6, Congressional leaders from Maryland gathered in Baltimore to express their support of the Patient Care Affordability and Care Act, and to stress the dangers in repealing a vital piece of legislation affecting the lives of some 20 million Americans, without a plan to replace or improve it.

L-R: Senator Van Hollen, Rep. Sarbanes, Rep., Cummings, Senator Cardin, Rep. Hoyer, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Leana Wen.

L-R: Senator Van Hollen, Rep. Sarbanes, Rep., Cummings, Senator Cardin, Rep. Hoyer, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Leana Wen.

Consumer Health First stands with our state's Congressional leaders in support of the Affordable Care Act and the coverage and protections it has brought to hundreds of thousands in Maryland and more than 20 million across America!

Stay tuned for more information on how you can get involved, and if you have a story about how the ACA has helped you or your family, please share it with us so we can share it with our legislators.

Evergreen Still Awaits CMS Approval

Disappointing news for the ACA individual market in Maryland, and for Evergreen Health Cooperative. Evergreen is currently transitioning from a nonprofit cooperative to a for profit venture. But because Evergreen hasn't completed that transition, which requires final approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Maryland Insurance Administration had no choice but to suspend them from the 2017 individual market at the last minute. Meanwhile, Evergreen's CEO, Dr. Peter Bielenson said he hopes to finalize the conversion in April or May of 2017.

"Evergreen Health has been an exciting entrant into Maryland’s individual insurance market and an important alternative to the limited options for coverage that consumers have historically had. Therefore, Consumer Health First is disappointed that approval has not been forthcoming as yet on its request to move from a non-profit to a for-profit entity.  We hope to see that approval early in 2017.  This is critical if Maryland is to have a more competitive insurance market that works to the benefit of consumers.”  - Jeananne Sciabarra, Executive Director

United Healthcare withdrew from the MD individual market earlier this year, and now that Evergreen is suspended, that leaves only three insurers for consumers to choose from: CareFirst, Cigna and Kaiser. 

Approximately 6,000 Marylanders who currently have insurance through Evergreen Health are impacted by CMS’ delay to approve its proposed transfer to a for-profit corporation.

A few important things to know are:

  • December 15, 2016:  Consumers will be automatically transferred into either a CareFirst or Kaiser Permanente plan to ensure coverage on January 1, 2017.  
  • December 31, 2016: Those who want to pick their own plan must make their decision by the end of the year.  
  • Assistance is available at Maryland Health Connection.
  • Find a FAQ for consumers.    

For those with coverage through Evergreen:  please let us know about your experience.

Health Care. Keep It.

Introducing Health Care. Keep It. A new campaign and a new section to our website. Head to the "ACA Now" tab at the top of this page, and find pages of links to the latest news under 3 sections:

  1. The Latest on the Future of the Affordable Care Act
  2. The Future of Medicare and Medicaid
  3. Impact on Insurers, Doctors, Hospitals, and Drugs / Drug Costs.

Since November's election, we have, and will continue to gather, breaking news and analysis of what to expect regarding the ACA, Medicare, Medicaid, and health care reform in general, nationally - and here in Maryland. Health Care. Keep It. is broken out by topic, and then in chronological order with the latest news at the top, and will be updated as news develops. You don't have to search all over the internet for an article you saw - just come here! We welcome your tips, comments, input, and stories about how the repeal or changes to the ACA, Medicare, or Medicaid will affect you personally, or that of your clients and consumers. Write to us, and tell us about it, or submit your story here.

Thank You!!

We couldn't have done it without you! The totals are still coming in, but we raised at least $11,000 toward our goal of $15,000 because of YOU.

We have never faced a bigger challenge than when this organization was founded more than 10 years ago. Now, with the near certainty of the ACA being repealed, we are rededicating ourselves to our mission - ensuring that all Marylanders have the accessible, affordable, equitable healthcare they deserve. It's a tall order, but one we're fighting for every day.

That's why your contributions mean so much - and so much more - now. 

We have a long way to go. Longer perhaps, than we anticipated. But it's no longer a dream - it's an achievable goal we fully expect to realize, with your support.

Thank you again for your generosity,

J Signature.jpg
 

Jeananne Sciabarra, Executive Director

Giving Tuesday - $5,000 Challenge

Help Us Reach our goal of $15,000

TODAY, you have the opportunity to give back to your community. You can do that by making your first donation to Consumer Health First!

We are proud to be Maryland's leading health policy and advocacy organization and, with you, we share a commitment to ensure that all Marylanders have the access to the coverage and care that they deserve. Most importantly, we make sure that the first question decision-makers ask when drafting legislation or implementing policy is - what will be the impact on consumers?  This is especially critical now, when the gains made under the Affordable Care Act are at risk. 

Over the last ten years, Consumer Health First has had an impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of Marylanders. We have worked to:  

  • advocate for the expansion of Medicaid and the rights of those who receive it; 
  • create consumer-centric laws and policies for implementation of the Affordable Care Act; 
  • pro-actively engage in Maryland's unique model for transformation of our payment and health delivery systems; and 
  • ensure that in all areas consumers' rights are protected.

Please  take a few minutes to watch this video. Hear from real people who have benefited from the ACA, and learn why organizations like the Open Society Institute-Baltimore support our work:

Hundreds of thousands of Marylanders now have health care coverage because of the work we have done together.  However, we now face a new political landscape that may threaten the advances we have made. Consumer Health First, we will work at both the Federal and State level to make sure we do not lose what's been gained with the Affordable Care Act. We will also move forward with policy makers, legislators, advocates and consumers on a host of issues.

Let's secure the right of health care for all Marylanders!

Help us reach our Giving Tuesday goal of $15,000!