Tuesday, October 29, 2013


With the roll-out of the Health Exchanges on October 1, 2013 came a host of problems and computer glitches that kept would-be participants from enrolling in Exchange Plans through the Maryland State and/or Federal Websites.  Due to these hurdles, the Administration is pushing the Individual Mandate Date (date which most citizens must have coverage or face a penalty) back from January 1, 2014 to March 31, 2014.  Many senate democrats are also calling for a push-back on the "Open Enrollment" time-frame as well.  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Anyone tried to get on the Maryland Health Connection website to see how affordable the health plans are?  From time to time I was successful and generated a couple scenario plans for clients.  What I found was that you needed to input a lot of information to find out if there were any Advanced Premium Tax Credits (APTC/Subsidies) available as well as the cost of the various "Medal" plans (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum).  In addition, I also found that Carefirst, in many age bands, appeared to have the most competitive rates. Below is a link through our Portal (Brooks Benefit Services), that allows you to search, review, and see if you are eligible for APTC/Subsidies and apply for coverage if you don't. If you do qualify, you can only get those APTC's/Subsidies through the Maryland Health Connection Website. The Carefirst website is much easier, less time consuming, and will not log you off in the middle of doing a search.  Here is the Carefirst Medical Plan link. Please note that when you input the plan start date you should choose January 1, 2014.  If you do qualify for the "Subsidies" please feel free to contact me, Ben Brooks,  for assistance at 410-239-5009 or ben@brooksbenefit.com.  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


What a day.  We have had a partial government shutdown and the Maryland Health Exchanges are up and running, well sort of.  Trying all day to get into the exchange to compare rates, plans and features was met with absolutely no success. What I do know from some of my clients who were able to get rates, they were not very happy.  In fact very disappointed to find out that they were going to be paying the same or higher rates for inferior plans than they currently have.  It is important to remember that the Affordable Care Act is suppose to make plans both more affordable, accessible and provide decent coverage to those who otherwise wouldn't be able to obtain medical insurance in the individual market. 

Most brokers/consultants have taken the appropriate training to become certified to sell these plans both inside and outside of the Maryland Health Connection.  We are trying hard to educate not only the employers but the employees as well. Below please note the Maryland Health Connection logo and our reference ID which we would appreciate the employees using when completing applications as this not only credits our firm but also keeps the employees connected to our clients through Brooks Benefit Services.  In the upcoming weeks/months we will be reaching out to offer a time to set-up educational meeting for your employees.   If you would like to schedule a meeting in the meantime or request a copy of the PowerPoint Presentation, please do not hesitate to contact us at 410-239-5009 or ben@brooksbenefit.com.

Brooks Benefit Services, LLC
Benjamin Brooks

Consumer Assistance Reference ID: 9000054278