The window for annual enrollments under the Affordable Care Act opens on Nov. 1

Starting November 1, a six-week window opens for Mainers to explore affordable health care options through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) 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 December 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 [email protected] or 1-833-284-8816.

About MaineHealth:

MaineHealth is a not-for-profit integrated health system consisting of nine local hospital systems, a comprehensive behavioral healthcare network, diagnostic services, home health agencies, and more than 1,700 employed and independent physicians working together through an Accountable Care Organization. With close to 22,000 employees, MaineHealth is the largest health system in northern New England and provides preventive care, diagnosis and treatment to 1.1 million residents in Maine and New Hampshire. It includes Franklin Memorial Hospital/Franklin Community Health Network in Farmington, LincolnHealth in Damariscotta and Boothbay Harbor, Maine Behavioral Healthcare in South Portland, MaineHealth Care at Home in Saco, Maine Medical Center in Portland, Memorial Hospital in North Conway, N.H., Mid Coast-Parkview Health in Brunswick, NorDx in Scarborough, Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County Hospital in Rockport and Belfast, Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford and Sanford, Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook and Stephens Memorial Hospital/Western Maine Health Care in Norway. MaineHealth Affiliates include Maine General Health in Augusta and Waterville, New England Rehabilitation Hospital in Portland and St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. It is also a significant stakeholder in the MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization in Portland.

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