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Mainers Could Get Help Paying ACA Marketplace Plan Premiums


Wednesday, December 8, 2021   

AUGUSTA, Maine -- With open enrollment deadlines for the Affordable Care Act marketplace approaching, groups are urging Mainers to make sure they've chosen the best health insurance plan for their circumstances.

The deadline is next week, Dec. 15, for policies starting Jan. 1. There's also a second deadline, Jan. 15, for coverage to start Feb. 1.

The American Rescue Plan provided funding to help people who qualify pay their monthly premiums. Thousands of Mainers have enrolled in coverage.

Patty Lovell, marketplace navigator for Western Maine Community Action, said it is worth checking how much your portion of the cost would be now, even if coverage has been too expensive in the past.

"Plans can be as low as $2 for some people, depending on your income," Lovell pointed out. "The subsidies through the American Rescue Plan have increased. There's no 'cliff' anymore. So if you're over 400% (of the federal poverty line), there's still financial assistance available to pay premiums."

During the 2021 special enrollment period, more than 10,000 Mainers got coverage, compared to 4,000 or 5,000 the previous two years. Nationwide, people who updated their plans since passage of the American Rescue Plan have saved, in total, more than $530 million per month on premiums.

Ann Woloson, executive director of Consumers for Affordable Health Care in Maine, noted Maine has moved to a state-based marketplace, found online at She said it includes a tool to help people to compare plans, as well as other resources they may need.

" has a compare plan tool at the top of the homepage, where Mainers can look at plans and determine whether their primary care doctors or specialists, preferred hospital or the prescription drug they need is covered, or in network," Woloson outlined.

She added they can also find an estimate for how much they will have to pay every month, as well as how much financial assistance they can get through federal subsidies. The Build Back Better Act, which passed the House last month and is now in the Senate, would extend financial assistance for paying premiums though 2025, instead of letting it expire after 2022.

Disclosure: Consumers for Affordable Healthcare contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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