MARYLAND LAUNCHES HEALTH INSURANCE CONSUMER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM TO READY RESIDENTS AND SMALL EMPLOYERS FOR OPEN ENROLLMENT THROUGH MARYLAND HEALTH CONNECTION

BALTIMORE (April 25, 2013)—The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange (MHBE), the public corporation and unit of Maryland State government responsible for the implementation of the state-based insurance exchange through the Affordable Care Act, announced today the launch of its Connector Program with the award of an anticipated $24 million in grant funds to six organizations serving as consumer assistance and enrollment resources throughout the state. The Worcester County Health Department, located in Snow Hill, will serve as the prime grantee for a period of 12 months beginning July 1st to meet the needs of individuals and small employers in Wicomico, Somerset and Worcester Counties through outreach and education, eligibility determination and enrollment into Medicaid and qualified health plans. The regional approach ensures that the needs of Maryland’s uninsured and underserved communities are provided with in-person assistance as the new health insurance coverage options become available in October 2013 through Maryland Health Connection, the state-based health insurance marketplace.

The Worcester County Health Department will receive an anticipated $1.2 million in grant funding to provide education, outreach, eligibility and enrollment services for the nearly 23,100 uninsured residents in the counties it serves. The intent of the regional approach is to ensure that all populations are reached including those with Limited English Proficiency, disabilities or those that may be in underserved communities.

“I’m proud to announce this important investment in Maryland’s health care system,” said Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. “By working together to implement the Affordable Care Act, we aren’t just helping Marylanders get the care they need, we’re also creating over 300 jobs across our state.”

“Creating a customized outreach program for each region will allow the navigators to address the specific needs and resources of Marylanders throughout the state,” said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and chair of the Board of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange

“We are honored to be selected as the connector entity for the Lower Eastern Shore,” said Worcester County Health Officer Deborah Goeller. “We look forward to working with our state and local partners to help people select health plans offered through Maryland Health Connection.”


The Worcester County Health Department will employ a workforce of 17 navigators and assisters to provide outreach and education, with a particular focus on hard-to-reach populations. Trained and certified navigators will counsel and enroll residents into qualified health plans and Medicaid through Maryland Health Connection, the state-based insurance marketplace scheduled to open on October 1, 2013. Non-certified personnel, known as “assisters,” will be trained to provide information, assistance and enrollment into Medicaid. Navigators and assisters will provide information about eligibility requirements for federal premium subsidies and cost-sharing assistance, and assess eligibility requirements for Medicaid and Maryland Children’s Health Program.

“The Worcester County Health Department is a strong and trusted partner in the communities it serves and will be a great connector entity to help educate and enroll the residents on the Eastern Shore,” said Rebecca Pearce, Executive Director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange.

Navigators and in-person assisters will provide referrals to appropriate agencies, including the Attorney General’s Health Education and Advocacy Unit (HEAU) and the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) for applicants and enrollees with grievances, complaints, questions or the need for other social services through the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Department of Human Resources (Social Services).
 

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WCHD News

As part of Pocomoke City’s 4th Friday on Sept. 27, the Worcester County Health Department will lead a free 1-mile fun walk through the historic downtown district. Registration begins at 5 pm and the walk starts at 5:30 pm.

Click the image below to register for the walk. 

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The Out of the Darkness Suicide Awareness Walk. Movement of a quarter of a million people joined by local participants in Ocean City, MD.

Ocean City, MD − Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, yet suicide can be prevented. Volunteers from Worcester County are joining the quarter of a million people who are walking in towns across the United States to draw attention to the fight for suicide prevention. The 8th annual Out of the Darkness Walk, hosted by the Worcester County Health Department (WCHD) will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2019. As in years past, walkers will gather at Caroline Street and the Boardwalk, with registration beginning at 9am. After opening remarks, the procession will walk to the Inlet, turn and walk to 5th Street, then back to Caroline Street.

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Worcester Health partners with Ocean City Fire Department on “Safe Station” project
Station offers 24/7 access to recovery services

Ocean City, MD- Where would you go if you needed help with addiction right now? The Worcester County Health Department, in partnership with the Town of Ocean City Fire Department, has launched a “Safe Station” in Ocean City at the 15th Street Fire Station for those seeking immediate help getting into recovery. The station is open 24-hours a day, 7 days a week for any individuals seeking treatment services.

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In the event of a storm or power outage, it is important to know safety information about food storage and operating generators. Follow the links below for tips about food and generator safety.

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(July 31, 2019 Snow Hill, MD) – The Worcester County Health Department received notification from the State of Maryland that a mosquito pool in the Whaleyville area of Worcester County recently tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). This is the first positive test for EEE in Worcester in 2019.

Arboviruses, such as the EEE virus, are most common during the summer and fall months. The viruses are transmitted by infected mosquitoes and spread to humans, birds, horses and other animals. Since mosquitoes can breed in as little as a quarter inch of water, eliminating standing water is critical for the control of mosquito populations. Many factors impact when and where outbreaks occur, such as weather, numbers of mosquitoes that spread the virus, and human behavior.

The Worcester and Wicomico County Health Department provides the following tips to help prevent contact with mosquitoes and reduce risk of infection with EEE or other mosquito borne illnesses:

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