Tomorrow is the last day to enroll to avoid a gap in coverage in 2023
Governor Mills is reminding Maine residents who lack affordable health coverage that tomorrow, December 15, 2022, is the deadline to sign up through CoverME.gov, Maine’s health insurance marketplace, for an affordable health plan that starts in the new year.
The Governor urged Maine people to act to prevent gaps in coverage. Maine people who sign up by midnight tomorrow will have coverage effective on January 1, 2023. Consumers who enroll after Thursday’s deadline will miss coverage for January 2023 but will – if they sign up by January 15 – qualify for health insurance that takes effect on February 1, 2023. After January 15, the last day of annual open enrollment, only individuals and families that qualify for special enrollment periods due to special circumstances, such as changing jobs or having a baby, can sign up for private health insurance coverage for 2023.
By visiting CoverME.gov, Maine people can compare private plans, apply for financial assistance, and enroll in a 2023 health plan. Health plans offered on CoverME.gov provide quality, comprehensive insurance that protects consumers if they have an accident or major illness and fully pays for preventive screenings.
In 2023, Maine people can take advantage of additional federal financial assistance, made possible through the Inflation Reduction Act, that makes insurance more affordable than ever. Residents can also get free help choosing the best plan to meet their budget and health needs.
“Health care saves lives – and quality, affordable health coverage is available for Maine people right now by visiting CoverME.gov,” said Governor Janet Mills. “I urge Maine people to visit CoverME.gov by tomorrow to consider your options and enroll in the plan that’s best for you and your family to avoid any gap in coverage. Now is the time to act. Please don’t wait.”
“If you or your family need health insurance in the new year, don’t wait –enroll by December 15 to get quality, affordable health insurance that starts January 1. It’s your last chance to avoid a gap in coverage in 2023,” said Jeanne Lambrew, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. “All the plans offered through CoverME.gov cover essential benefits, from check-ups to emergency care, and more people than ever qualify for help affording their insurance. Visit CoverME.gov to keep yourself and your family protected in the new year.”
“Our trained HelpLine staff stand ready to provide free, confidential assistance to Mainers who need help sorting through their health insurance options and enrolling in coverage,” said Ann Woloson, Executive Director of Consumers for Affordable Health Care. “People who need insurance should check out their options since most individuals who purchase coverage on their own through CoverME.gov can get help paying monthly premiums. There are now more options available to Mainers than ever.”
Last year, more than 80 percent of consumers received financial assistance through CoverME.gov. This year, thanks to a change in federal rules, more families and individuals than ever will be eligible for financial assistance to help pay for their insurance costs.
In 2023, as a result of the three-year extension of additional assistance provided by the American Rescue Plan, 13 million Americans nationwide will save an average of $800 per year on their health insurance, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Four out of five customers will be able to find a plan for $10 or less after subsidies.
In addition, a new federal rule fixing the so-called “family glitch” means that more family members of Maine workers offered unaffordable job-based insurance will be eligible for financial assistance through CoverME.gov in 2023. Even those who were ineligible in the past should check out CoverME.gov to see what assistance may be available in the upcoming year.
Enrollment declines starting in 2017 were reversed in 2022 after the first CoverME.gov open enrollment period run fully by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of the Health Insurance Marketplace (OHIM). Maine’s greater control of its marketplace, paired with Medicaid expansion, led the state to have the largest decline in its uninsured rate among all states in the nation in recent years.
Since the second year of open enrollment through CoverME.gov began on Nov. 1, 2022, more than 60,000 Maine residents have selected plans for affordable health insurance in 2023.
This year, CoverME.gov will offer individual plans from Anthem, Community Health Options, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and, newly, Taro Health.
Consumers who already have a plan through CoverME.gov are automatically re-enrolled in their current plan or the most similar offering from their health insurance carrier. Still, OHIM encourages people currently signed up through CoverME.gov to check out new plans and update their family and income information, as new financial assistance may offer more affordable coverage that best meets their needs.
With the Plan Compare tool at CoverME.gov/get-started/compare-plans, consumers can evaluate available private health insurance plans and estimate their costs before they sign up for an account or complete a full application. The tool also allows consumers to check whether their preferred health care providers are included in each plan’s network, and to view information about coverage and out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs.
Free enrollment assistance is available online, over the phone, and in person to help consumers find the plan that fits their health needs and budget for 2023. Find help at or call (866) 636-0355/TTY 711 (for languages other than English, choose option 4).
The Consumers for Affordable Health Care HelpLine is available toll-free at 1-800-965-7476.
Maine residents applying through CoverME.gov who are eligible for MaineCare will have their application sent to MaineCare for review. Eligible Maine people can enroll in MaineCare at any time of year.
CoverME.gov is part of Governor Mills’ successful efforts to ensure Maine people have access to health insurance, including:
- Expanding Medicaid: Implementing expansion was Governor Mills’ first official act as Governor and was her Administration’s first step in improving health care for Maine people. The federal government pays 90 percent of the cost of this coverage, which has supported hospitals’ cost of caring for patients that were previously uninsured, a move that has been especially important during the pandemic.
- Putting Affordable Care Act Protections into State Law: In 2019, just weeks after expanding Medicaid, Governor Mills also signed into law bipartisan legislation to codify insurance protections for people with pre-existing conditions, ensuring that Maine people with cancer, asthma, or other chronic conditions don’t get charged more or denied private coverage altogether from insurance companies regulated by the state.
- Making Health Insurance More Affordable for Small Businesses:Thanks to a bill Governor Mills proposed and signed into law, in 2023 small businesses will see their first annual average reduction in health insurance premiums since at least 2001, while average small group premiums in many other northeast states will increase. The Governor has also launched the Small Business Health Insurance Premium Relief Program that lowers the cost of monthly health insurance premiums for small businesses and their employees.