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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

Mainers get another chance at open enrollment for health coverage

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Tuesday, December 26, 2023   

Healthcare advocates in Maine say people who missed the most recent open enrollment deadline for healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act have another chance to sign up.

Mainers have until January 16 to enroll for coverage beginning in February, and the majority of those who enroll are expected to qualify for premium subsidies to lower their monthly payments.

Ann Woloson, executive director of Consumers for Affordable Healthcare, said the CoverME.gov website has helpful tools for users to compare plans.

"Some people are getting comprehensive coverage for as little as $10 a month," said Woloson. "There are thousands of other people who are eligible for assistance, with deductibles depending on their income."

Woloson said people who had coverage last year can be automatically re-enrolled but should check to make sure specialty or primary care providers and any prescription needs are still included in their plan.

An extended special enrollment period continues for individuals eligible for MaineCare - the state's version of Medicaid.

The program has been undergoing an "unwinding" process since April, when pandemic-related coverage policies ended.

Woloson said the process has been confusing for many MaineCare recipients but she commends the state for working to ensure as many people as possible are covered.

"You can apply for MaineCare anytime," said Woloson, "but if people have lost their coverage because their income, for example, has increased, that would provide them with a special enrollment period to apply for marketplace coverage."

Woloson said while the state's marketplace website is navigator friendly, questions often arise when choosing a healthcare plan.

She said Consumers for Affordable Healthcare offers enrollment assistance both in-person and through their help hotline at 1-800-965-7476.





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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