As a one-stop shop for accessing quality, affordable health care options in Western Maryland, Healthy Howard’s Door to HealthCare program is making a significant difference in getting more Marylanders covered. Since the launch of the state’s health insurance marketplace, Maryland Health Connection, the Door has served as the official source for information about new health insurance options in the communities of Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Howard and Washington counties.
However the Door’s success in connecting individuals to health care extends beyond the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Since 2011, the Door to HealthCare helped more than 12,000 Howard County residents without health insurance learn about available options for coverage, determine their eligibility, navigate application processes and take advantage of benefits available through services including the Healthy Howard Health Plan, Maryland Children’s Health Program (MCHP), Medical Assistance for Families, and PAC.
When Healthy Howard became an official Connector Entity for enrolling individuals through the state health insurance marketplace in 2013, the Door to HealthCare continued making significant progress in helping residents get insured in Howard County and beyond — throughout the six-county region of Western Maryland.
In the 2015 open enrollment season, trained and certified navigators and assisters with the Door to HealthCare directly assisted more than 7,000 households resulting in more than 36,000 enrollments in the region.
For more information, http://www.doortohealthcare.org.
As of July 1st, 2016, Howard County Department of Corrections is administering this program.
When inmates from Howard County Department of Corrections facilities were released, Healthy Howard helped ensure that they had continued access to health care through the Re-entry Health Services program.This program began in August 2012 when the Howard County Detention Center was selected as one of six jurisdictions from across the country to receive a grant from the Urban Institute and the National Institute of Corrections.
The goal of the program was to ensure that all recently released individuals had health coverage and were connected with the community resources needed to access care. Access to care has been shown to decrease recidivism rates and contribute to healthier communities.
Healthy Howard’s Re-entry Health Services Coordinator assisted inmates with assessing health needs and barriers, applying for health insurance benefits and linking to coverage upon their release. Additionally, the coordinator helped connect individuals to community resources such as transportation, housing and counseling services. The position was created through a partnership with the Howard County Department of Corrections, Howard County Health Department’s Addiction Services, and the Howard County Mental Health Authority.