As questions linger if the exchanges have done enough for consumers to fully understand them, Maryland officials announced last week that they will provide information and raise awareness about the exchanges in 100 grocery stores statewide.

The partnership with Giant Food, to begin Oct. 1, will display and distribute education materials about health insurance coverage during the open enrollment period which runs from Oct. 1 through March 31, 2014 for individuals and families.

Further, navigators and assisters will be available at community outreach events to speak with consumers about health coverage options and answer questions in local stores.

Just last month, only 33% of the respondents in a nationwide Kaiser Family Foundation poll said they’ve heard more than a little about the new marketplaces, although that’s up from 22% in June. But among young adults under the age of 26, the number falls to 21%. In Maryland an estimated 14% of Maryland’s population of 5.8 million, or 800,000, are currently uninsured.

"We're excited to increase awareness about the October 1st launch of Maryland Health Connection and we're grateful to Giant Food for working with us to achieve this goal,” said Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in a statement. “We've worked hard to ensure that Marylanders will have some of the highest quality health care plans at some of the most affordable prices in the nation. Thousands of Marylanders qualify for no cost or low cost health care coverage, so I urge everyone to learn more about the Maryland Health Connection.”


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