PORTLAND – Starting November 1, a six-week window opens for Mainers to explore affordable health care options through the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace. MaineHealth’s Access to Care team is prepared to assist and educate Mainers in shopping for health insurance plans during the Open Enrollment period, which runs through Dec. 15. This is the once-a-year opportunity to sign up for health coverage in 2021.
Access to affordable health coverage has never been more important considering the COVID-19 pandemic, increased rates of unemployment, and related loss of employer-based coverage. With financial assistance available to many individuals, the Marketplace provides a platform to shop for a plan that fits the needs of each person.
Financial subsidies are available to defray costs for individuals who: 1) are not offered employer-based health insurance; 2) have an annual income between $17,609-$51,040; and 3) are a U.S. citizen or Lawfully Present Immigrant (Lawfully Present Immigrants are eligible for financial assistance with no income as long as they are not eligible for Medicaid).
In addition to subsidies reducing the costs of care, the expected average rate decrease in premium costs for 2021 is 13 percent. “The ACA Health Insurance Marketplace subsidies and cost sharing reduction benefits have enabled over 100,000 Mainers over the past seven years to access comprehensive, affordable health insurance,” said Carol Zechman, Senior Director of Access to Care. “MaineCare expansion to low income adults, a part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act and the ACA Marketplace, has been vital to ensuring that Mainers receive the health care they need in a timely manner, particularly over the past six months of significant employment losses.”
Access to Care’s Certified Application Counselors are ready to help those interested in learning more about ACA health insurance options, and to enroll. There is no charge for the services they offer. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, counselors are scheduling both virtual and in-person appointments, following CDC guidelines.
To get in touch with a Certified Application Counselor, contact the Access to Care Coverage Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-833-284-8816.