Saturday, September 21, 2013

New options for affordable health insurance coming - By Rep. Jane Pringle

If you don’t have health insurance or you have a high deductible plan that will only cover you for a catastrophic illness you will soon be able to sign up for good coverage that begins on January 1, 2014. 
The Marketplace for Maine opens October 1st. You can sign up online by going to If you don’t have access to a computer, prefer to sign up by phone or need help with the online application, you can call a telephone helpline 24 hours a day, every day. The number is 1-800-318-2596.

The website and the telephone helpline also provide information about the various plans available in Maine, what they will cost you and whether or not you qualify for a subsidy to pay for it. Once you start the application process you will be given your own ID/application number so if you need to gather additional information such as income, you can start the process and return to complete it later. 

There will be other resources that can help you if you need it. There will be navigators, certified application counselors, insurance brokers and, in some instances, your local library. For a list of resources based in Maine you will be able to look at 

New benefits! We have already experienced some of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act such as parents being able to keep their children on their health insurance plan up to age 26. Starting January 1st other important provisions of the law begin. No one can be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions. No one can lose their insurance because they become sick. Your rate can not go up because you get sick.

If you or someone you know is not covered please encourage them to sign up. Young people who are healthy often feel they don’t need insurance. However, they can have an accident or an unexpected illness which can bankrupt them and ruin their credit. The leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the U.S. is an unexpected illness for a person without health insurance.

Other resources for information include:

Consumers for Affordable Health Care: 1-800-965-7476 or
Maine Area Agencies on Aging for questions about Medicare Part D prescription drugs and the Medicare Savings Program: Call 1-877-353-3771.

For a 3 minute overview of the ACA: http://youtube/watch?v=ioc6DrsJcCo 

Finally, for those of you who want to help get everyone in Maine health insurance coverage you can join the efforts through Cover Maine Now at Maine is one of the states that has not accepted the offer of the federal government to pay 100 percent of the costs to expand our Medicaid program to cover almost 70,000 Maine people making between $11,000/year and $15,000/year (individual). Covering everyone saves money and saves lives.

Feel free to contact me with any comments or questions at or 207-892-8266.

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