Health Insurance Basics

What's New for 2019

There will not be a penalty for not having minimum essential coverage. Before, consumers would pay a penalty if they were not enrolled in a health plan. Starting Jan. 1, 2019, that tax penalty will be reduced to nothing. If you don't have major medical health insurance for the 2019 coverage year, you'll be on your own for major health care costs, but you won't be penalized at tax time.

Short-term, limited duration options may offer lower premiums, but they won't cover as much. Short-term, limited duration insurance is not available through the Marketplace, but you may see it offered elsewhere. It allows for coverage to fill temporary coverage gaps. While they're typically cheaper than the Marketplace and other individual market health plans, there are usually limited benefits, broader exclusions and higher levels of consumer cost-sharing. Before signing up for a short-term plan, it's important to think through what health care services you and your family may need and check whether those services are covered. For more information, read the Bureau's tip sheet on Short-Term Plans.

Contact us before you buy, with any questions you may have, or call us to discuss a complaint at: (207)-624-8475 or (800) 300-5000 (in Maine only); at Maine Relay 711 (for the hard of hearing); or at Insurance.PFR@maine.gov.

Find more resources at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners INSURE U