Joins with national campaign to encourage uninsured people in Maine and across the country to stay healthy and apply for coverage before December 15
Governor Mills joined with governors across the country today in declaring December 10, 2020 as Get Covered Day (PDF) in an unprecedented national push to promote health insurance coverage in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A bipartisan group of 15 states have joined with provider, patient and consumer groups, and celebrity ambassadors to spread the word that December 15 is the final day to sign up for a plan through HealthCare.gov. Governor Mills also released a video message to Maine people about the importance of being protected by health insurance.
“If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s the importance of being prepared for the unexpected,” said Governor Mills. “Even if you’re not sure how much health care you’ll need next year, or if you’re expecting to find a new job with benefits soon, don’t miss this opportunity to sign up. Spread the word to your family, friends, and neighbors too – especially if they’ve been hit hard in this difficult year and have lost their health insurance.
Most Maine people shopping through HealthCare.gov can pay less than $75 a month for health coverage in 2021, according to federal data released earlier this fall. Sixty percent of Maine HealthCare.gov customers qualify for a plan costing under $75 a month, while 40 percent can pay under $10 a month.
The average individual market health insurance premium in Maine will be 13 percent lower next year. Maine is one of four states where average premiums are dropping more than 10 percent from 2020 to 2021 - the third year in a row of premium declines in Maine.
“Even if you’ve applied for coverage before, it’s worth taking another look, especially if the COVID-19 pandemic has affected your job or income,” said Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew. “Don’t wait to explore your options. Many people qualify for financial help to make premiums and out-of-pocket costs more affordable.”
For those who qualify for MaineCare, coverage can even be free. If you’re not sure what coverage you qualify for, visit CoverME.gov to learn more about affordable options through both MaineCare and HealthCare.gov. Organizations around the state are also providing application assistance via telephone and virtual appointments to answer questions or guide people through the application process. A directory can be found at CoverMe.gov/help, or people can call the Consumers for Affordable Health Care Help Line directly at 1-800-965-7476.
“Shopping for health insurance can be overwhelming, but it’s critical that Maine people not miss this window to sign up for coverage for 2021,” said Ann Woloson, Executive Director of Consumers for Affordable Health Care. “Free help is available from trained and unbiased assisters here in Maine, but anyone who needs help should reach out right away to avoid the rush in the final days of Open Enrollment.”
Last year, roughly 107,000 or 8 percent of Maine residents were uninsured. People with income between 139 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level (under $51,040 for a single person, $104,800 for a family of four) can get reduced premiums through the Marketplace. This year, 86 percent of Maine people buying coverage through the Marketplace qualified for reduced premiums.
People with income less than 138 percent of the Federal poverty level ($17,609/year for a single person, $36,156 for a family of four) are eligible for MaineCare, which provides no-cost, comprehensive coverage.