January 10, 2024
As open enrollment for Health Insurance Marketplace plans for 2024 approaches its conclusion next Tuesday, January 16, 2024, thousands of new consumers are selecting plans through Maine’s state-based marketplace, CoverME.gov.
As of December 15, 2023, 7,321 new consumers had selected plans, the largest number of new consumers selecting plans by that date in all three years Maine has operated a state-based marketplace. December 15 was the deadline for coverage that started January 1, 2024.
Since then, newly released data show that plan selections are holding strong. Since open enrollment through CoverME.gov began on November 1 through December 26, 2023, nearly 61,300 Maine residents have selected plans for affordable, quality health insurance in 2024. This includes new consumers, those who didn’t have a marketplace plan at the beginning of open enrollment, and returning consumers who have actively re-enrolled or automatically re-enrolled.
Maine is one of 19 states that fully run their own Health Insurance Marketplaces, with the Federal government running the rest through HealthCare.gov. Today, the President announced that a record-high 20 million Americans have signed up for health coverage through the Marketplaces nationwide, giving more people than ever the peace of mind of having coverage when they need it.
January 16, 2024 is the final annual open enrollment deadline for coverage in 2024, with that coverage starting February 1. CoverME.gov is making a final push to get the word out, especially to Mainers who are uninsured or struggling to pay for their insurance coverage. Due to a change in federal law, some household members may be eligible for financial assistance for CoverME.gov health insurance plans even if someone in their family has access to job-based coverage.
Moreover, Mainers who qualify for financial assistance through the marketplace (called Advanced Premium Tax Credits or APTC) are largely shielded from the impacts of premium increases. A larger percentage of CoverME.gov enrollees than ever are slated to receive financial savings with 82 percent having qualified for financial help through CoverME.gov to-date. Many of those Maine residents have been able to find a lower-cost plan than in the past, so Mainers who have looked at plans in the past are urged to visit CoverME.gov and explore their options this year. For anyone who doesn’t qualify for MaineCare (Medicaid) and doesn’t have access to employer-sponsored insurance, the health insurance marketplace provides access to quality, private insurance plans as well as financial savings to help afford the coverage.
Here’s what some CoverME.gov members who have signed up for coverage have had to say about their experience with CoverME.gov:
- Sarah Rinaldi, who first enrolled in coverage as a full-time nursing student in Portland, said, “I turned 26 and could no longer be on my parents' plan. Looking at the costs of plans before I filled out the financial aid application, I thought I’d never be able to get affordable insurance. I found out I qualify for financial assistance which means I can pay for it out of pocket as a full-time student. Now I pay $60 a month for my insurance but it’s normally a $300 plus plan. The fact that I was able to pay for my insurance without having to have a full-time job while in school as well was really a relief for me.”
- “I signed up for coverage this year as I was switching jobs and found an affordable plan that pays for my medications and I was even able to keep my primary care doctor,” said Jay Miller, a CoverME.gov consumer and freelance photographer from Newcastle. “With help from Consumers for Affordable Health Care, I found a plan that works for me and means I can make sure I have coverage myself.”
- Asher Huntington, a self-employed arborist in Lincoln County said, “As a tree climbing arborist, I need health insurance. I am so pleased with the affordability and ease of use on the health care marketplace. Thanks, CoverME.gov for the good coverage!”
- Janice W. of Pittsfield said, “My husband and I recently found ourselves without work, which was unexpected, and we lost our health insurance. I went onto CoverME.gov and was happy to find that there were a lot of options depending on what we could afford. I ended up with a Bronze plan. I feel like it will be great coverage in the meantime until we get back to work and are able to get insurance through employers like we have in the past. Our first premium for January is only going to be $4/month.”
Whether you are self-employed, a full-time student, turning 26 and not able to stay on your parents' plan, or want to retire before you turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare, CoverME.gov has you covered. For anyone who doesn’t have health or dental coverage for 2024 or has coverage and needs to make a change, the final Open Enrollment deadline is coming up quickly. January 16 is the last day to enroll or make changes for coverage that starts February 1. The CoverME.gov Consumer Assistance Center will be closed on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 15 but will be open from 8 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, January 16 for anyone who needs help.
After January 16, the only way to sign up for coverage is if you experience a life event that qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period, such as getting married or divorced, having or adopting a baby, losing your employer-sponsored coverage or MaineCare. Visit CoverME.gov for more details.