Insurance Superintendent Reminds Mainers Who Need Health Insurance to Shop Before Open Enrollment Closes on December 15

December 6, 2017

 

Contact: Judith Watters, Consumer Outreach Specialist
Phone:

 

Augusta -

Maine Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa has important reminders for Mainers who purchase health insurance for themselves and their families on the individual market:

Open Enrollment will end on Friday, December 15, earlier than in past years.

Anyone who does not have health insurance through an employer plan, Medicare, or other source will need to make their purchase by that date to have coverage for 2018 and avoid paying the tax penalty later.

The Bureau of Insurance approves all insurance plans sold in the individual market in Maine.

Approved plans (both on and off the Marketplace) which meet the minimum essential coverage requirement to avoid a tax penalty, can be found through a link to the Bureau’s Rate Calculator on its home page maine.gov/insurance. The Rate Calculator provides information on premium rates and cost-sharing amounts.

In 2018, many plans will cost less for individuals who qualify for premium subsidies, and some who have not qualified for subsidies in the past may now qualify.

To obtain a subsidy, a plan must be purchased through healthcare.gov. The federal website will calculate users’ estimated subsidies, even if they’re not ready to purchase a plan yet.

Those who do not qualify for subsidies may benefit from consulting a tax advisor.

Individuals who currently have an Anthem plan that they purchased through healthcare.gov should have received notice in the mail that they have been reassigned to a plan with Community Health Options or Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.

Those being reassigned should carefully review the new plan and compare it to other available options, to make sure that plan is best for them. If they choose to stay with the plan they’ve been assigned, they must get their first payment to Community Health Options or Harvard Pilgrim by January 1.

“People enrolling in a new health insurance plan or switching plans should always check whether their providers are part of the plan’s network before buying,” Superintendent Cioppa added. “People should call both the insurance company and their healthcare provider to verify that the provider will be covered under the specific plan being considered,” Cioppa said. “It’s possible that a provider may be contracted by an insurance company under one plan but not another, and using an out of network provider adds significant cost.”

People in Maine can call the Bureau of Insurance at 1-800-300-5000 with questions or concerns about their insurance options and the networks offered by the plans sold in Maine. Information is also available on the Bureau’s website (maine.gov/insurance).

The Bureau of Insurance is part of the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, which encourages sound business practices through oversight of insurers, financial institutions, creditors, investment providers, and numerous occupations.

Last Updated: December 6, 2017 4:06 PM