skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Friday, July 19, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Airline travel and more disrupted by global tech outage; Nevada gets OK to sell federal public lands for affordable housing;Science Moms work to foster meaningful talks on climate change; Scientists reconsider net-zero pledges to reach climate goals.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

As Trump accepts nomination for President, delegates emphasize themes of unity and optimism envisioning 'new golden age.' But RNC convention was marked by strong opposition to LGBTQ rights, which both opened and closed the event.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

'Family Glitch' Fix Means More Affordable Healthcare for Maine Families

play audio
Play

Wednesday, November 2, 2022   

CORRECTION: In second paragraph, people were deemed ineligible for subsidies to help pay their insurance premiums if they could get employer-sponsored coverage; now they are not. A previous version of the story inaccurately described the "family glitch." (1:40 p.m. MDT, Nov. 2, 2022)

Open enrollment for health insurance through CoverME.gov begins today, and consumer advocates said Mainers looking for a new plan, or to change their current coverage, can benefit from a change to the so-called "family glitch."

In previous years, families who could get family health coverage through their employer were deemed ineligible to get subsidies to help pay for marketplace insurance, regardless of the cost to add family members to the employer's plan.

Helen Roy, outreach and education coordinator at Consumers for Affordable Healthcare, said the "glitch" is now gone, so families have more affordable options.

"If what they are paying to put the family on that employer plan is more than 9.12% of their total income, they will be eligible for the premium subsidies," Roy explained.

Eliminating the family glitch is just one change in this year's open enrollment. Roy noted Consumers for Affordable Healthcare can help people find a plan and check on their eligibility for subsidies.

Congress has expanded the subsidies for health-insurance premiums, so folks who purchase plans through the federal exchange will pay no more than 8.5% of their household income on health coverage through 2025.

Roy pointed out having a Consumer Assistant help sort through the insurance options can prevent any surprises down the road.

"Let's look at the plans, figure out which one's going to work best," Roy advised. "Then, once we've got that part nailed down, we'll go in, do your application and your enrollment."

Consumers for Affordable Healthcare has a helpline at 800-965-7476, or people can set up an appointment on the group's website.

More insurers are expanding mental health coverage, wellness incentives and virtual care options, all of which gained popularity during the pandemic. So, people can ask about their options for integrated plans to cover hearing, dental or vision.

Aaron Child, a self-employed arborist in Damariscotta, said an insurance specialist helped him with some confusing terminology.

"I don't know how many people I've spoken with that have picked a plan and go, 'Ahh, I don't know if I did the right thing.' And I tell 'em, you know, 'Make a phone call and be a little bit more sure about what you're doing,'" Child recommended.

Open enrollment is the only time during the year, outside a special enrollment window, when people can sign up for a plan or change their current health coverage. Open enrollment runs Nov. 1 through Jan. 15.

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


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Vice President Kamala Harris spoke at a political event in Grand Rapids, Mich., in early 2024. (The White House/Wikimedia Commons)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Vice President Kamala Harris focused on reproductive rights at a campaign event in Michigan Wednesday. Her remarks come as President Joe Biden has …


Environment

play sound

Construction could begin in Minnesota later this year in the final phase of one of the nation's largest solar energy developments, after state …

Social Issues

play sound

Thousands of educators from across the nation will be in Houston starting this weekend for the American Federation of Teachers annual convention…


The Illinois State Board of Education report card said O'Fallon Township High School HSD #203 is currently only funded at 64%. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

By Kristy Alpert for Arts Midwest.Broadcast version by Terri Dee for Illinois News Connection reporting for the Arts Midwest-Public News Service Colla…

Social Issues

play sound

More than 2,400 delegates gathered in Milwaukee this week for the Republican National Convention and delegates from around the country, including …

Researchers said extreme events in nearly every region of Wisconsin are causing immense disruptions affecting human health, the economy and natural resources. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

So far, states like Wisconsin have largely escaped the worst of the summer heat affecting much of the nation but a group of scientists wants regional …

Social Issues

play sound

Postsecondary enrollment data for 2023 shows community college enrollment increased nationwide by more than 100,000 students, and a large percentage …

Environment

play sound

By Stephen Battersby for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Broadcast version by Kathryn Carley for Commonwealth News Service…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021