Health Information Resources Related to the Health Insurance Marketplace
Sites to use while Healthcare.gov is being repaired:
HealthSherpa is a temporary alternative until the federal Healthcare.gov website is functioning at full capacity. Maine citizens can compare plans using this website. Plans can't be purchased through the site, but for users who want to enroll, they are provided with links to the private insurance companies' web sites and telephone numbers.
Consumer Reports has also built a website that can provide some basic assistance as well. This site uses your state, income range and current insurance status to provide recommendations and next steps in a simple step by step process.
The Affordable Care Act
All Maine citizens who need health care under the affordable care act should go to the Health Insurance Marketplace at https://www.healthcare.gov/ to apply for coverage, compare options, and enroll. Maine citizens can get specific Maine information and assistance by going to Enroll207 at http://www.enroll207.com/
Maine was one of the states that chose not to create its own Health Insurance Marketplace therefore Maine citizens will use the Federal Marketplace for health insurance.
3 Key Dates
- October 1, 2013: Marketplace open enrollment started
- January 1, 2014: Health coverage can start
- March 31, 2014: Open enrollment ends
HealthCare.gov is the portal for individuals, families and small businesses. For both these groups there is a “see your options” button.
Easy Widgets & Badges to Add to Your Websites
Give visitors to your organization's website a link to enroll207.com or the Health Insurance Marketplace at healthcare.gov by simply copying and pasting a widget (samples below) at http://www.enroll207.com/resources-widgets-badges-english/ on the Enroll.com website, your Maine Connection to the new Healthcare Insurance Marketplace.
For people with questions now, reliable information can be found at:
- Healthcare.gov - Learn All Topics
- The Affordable Care Act: What’s Next for Maine? Trish Riley, Muskie School of Public Service
- Consumers for Affordable Healthcare
Individuals or small businesses with questions can use the Navigator program. These organizations were created and funded by the federal government. Navigators will serve as an in-person resource for Americans who want additional assistance in shopping for and enrolling in plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace this fall. These organizations will provide people who need assistance in enrolling and will work with libraries to hold workshops. These programs are where you can refer a patron who may need assistance beyond what you are comfortable providing, or who needs individualized help and assistance. There is a zip code locator for the navgitors and certified application counselors at the Enroll 207 website.
Maine Navigators for Health Insurance Marketplace
In Maine there are 2 main Navigators whom will partner with other local agencies listed below.
Western Maine Community Action, Inc. is a private non-profit community agency and is the lead for a state-wide consortium of eight community action agencies, collectively referred to as the WMCA Community Action Navigator Consortium.
Local Supporting Agencies
- Aroostook County Action Program, 1-800-432-7881
- Kennebec Valley Community Action, 1-800-542-8227
- Midcoast Maine Community Action, 1-800-221-2221
- Opportunity Alliance (Cumberland County), 1-877-429-6884
- Waldo Community Action Partners,(207) 338-6809
- Washington-Hancock Community Agency, (207) 664-2424
- Western Maine Community Action, 1-800-645-9636
- York County Community Action Corporation,1-800-965-5762
Maine Lobstermen's Association (funded by the Fishing Partnership Support Services)
Fishing Partnership Support Services in collaboration with the Maine Lobstermen's Association will undertake a series of community health navigation activities for Maine’s fishing community.Contact for information is April Gilmore,
Maine Lobstermen's Association, (207) 967-4555 (office). Please contatc April if you are scheduling any ACA information events in a fishing community.
The Maine State Library is providing both these organizations a list of library contacts and will work with libraries and these organizations so the public can be informed about all options. In addition to the Navigator program, there may also be some certified application counselors who have gone through a shorter training than those in the Navigator programs. Some librarians are taking this training just so they are prepared to assist patrons with the application process. Requirements for this training and an application. This role goes well beyond the normal assistance a librarian would provide.
Public Resources to Use
View HealthCare.gov resources, selected by the Maine State Library for use with patrons. These resources can be printed and handed out or use the links on your own website.
The first open enrollment period is from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014 (a 6-month period). Consumers must select a plan by the 15th of the month for coverage to start on the 1st of the following month (but no earlier than January 1, 2014). If health plans are chosen after the 15th, coverage will start on the 1st day of the next following month. For example, if a consumer picks a plan on February 18, coverage will not start until April 1. <https://questions.cms.gov/faq.php?id=5005&faqId=7381>
- WebJunction Webinars on Health Care
- Meaningful Use: Libraries connecting patrons to ACA resources This August 28 webinar will explore strategies for libraries to identify ACA resources, hear from libraries that are working to prepare for patron requests, and obtain key policy and resource updates from ACA experts.
- Libraries & Health Insurance: Preparing for October 1 This July 26 webinar provides information about plans to provide library staff with online resources to respond to increased patron information needs related to the Affordable Care Act.
- FAQs - WebJunction
- eHealth @WebJunction
- Maine Bureau of Insurance