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Health insurance provides financial protection from health care costs by covering some or all of the expenses of routine and emergency medical care. Many Americans receive health insurance as part of a benefit package offered by their employer, but there may be other options available if you do not have insurance through a job, or the coverage available to you is too expensive.
MaineCare is a health insurance program that covers more than 250,000 Mainers, including 45% of the state's children and two-thirds of nursing home residents. It is run jointly by the state and federal governments.
For more information about what services MaineCare covers and how the program works, see the MaineCare Member Handbook and the Office of MaineCare Services.
Eligibility for MaineCare is based on financial and medical criteria.
- To find out whether you qualify based on your income, visit My Maine Connection, a service of the Office for Family Independence.
- If you believe you may qualify for MaineCare because you need in-home services or nursing care, you can apply through the Office of Aging and Disability Services.
- Eligible Mainers can enroll in MaineCare at any time during the year.
Medicare is a federal program that covers most seniors and many people with disabilities.
- Medicare offers different coverage options. If you need help deciding which plan is right for you or understanding your Medicare benefits, you can access free, confidential, and unbiased advice from Maine's State Health Insurance Assistance Program ("SHIP").
- If you are already enrolled in Medicare, you can sign up for a free, secure account at MyMedicare.gov to access your information.
If you don't qualify for MaineCare or Medicare, and don't receive affordable insurance from your employer, you may want to purchase your own individual insurance policy to cover yourself and your immediate family.
- To learn more about how to compare plans and understand your choices, visit the Maine Bureau of Insurance's guide to Shopping for Individual Health Insurance.
- Depending on your income and other factors, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the federal government to make health insurance more affordable. You can check whether you may qualify and see estimates of plan costs using income levels & savings tool on Healthcare.gov.
- Open enrollment for the health insurance marketplace runs from November 1 to December 15, but you may be able to enroll at other times of the year if you've recently experienced a major life change like changing jobs, moving, getting married or divorced, or having a baby.
Information for Small Businesses
Although businesses with 1-49 employees are not required to offer insurance coverage, many small business owners want to provide their employees with health benefits.
- The Maine Bureau of Insurance provides information on Shopping for Health Insurance specifically for small business owners.
Information for Veterans
The Maine Bureau of Veterans' Services provides information about health coverage for veterans.