The MLA is in the process of hiring a new health insurance Navigator; Alisha Keezer is no longer with MLA. The Association will continue to have trained Navigators on staff ready to answer your health insurance questions during the upcoming enrollment period, look at plans and pricing and assist you with enrollment if you choose. Thank you for your patience during this transition.
Open enrollment for 2018 health insurance plans offered through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace begins November 1 and runs through December 15, 2017. During the open enrollment period, consumers can select health insurance plans for 2018. In order to have insurance by January 1, 2018, you will need to complete your enrollment by December 15.
Open enrollment is only six short weeks this year, so don’t wait! Whether you are interested in a plan for yourself or you want insurance for your family, don’t put off looking at your options. If you don’t sign up during the open enrollment period, you will not be able to purchase health insurance through the Marketplace in 2018 unless you experience a qualifying event, such as getting married, having a baby or losing your insurance through work.
MLA’s Navigators are available to help you learn more about your health insurance options and to help you enroll in a Marketplace plan if you are interested. Under the Affordable Care Act, if you do not have a qualified health plan in place for 2018, you will pay a penalty when you file your taxes equal to 2.5% of your household income or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, whichever is greater.
The Marketplace (online at www.healthcare.gov) is a vehicle for searching for health care coverage that will fit your budget and meet you and your family’s needs. Every health plan offered on the Marketplace is quoted based on the same set of essential benefits, including doctor visits, preventive care, hospitalization, prescriptions, and more. This makes it easy to compare plans based on price, benefits, quality and other features important to you and your family before you make your choice. Plans are categorized as Bronze, Silver and Gold to help you find the best balance between your monthly premiums and the level of benefits that a plan provides.
The Marketplace offers an easy to use “window shopping tool” located at www.healthcare.gov. With basic information about your household size, estimate of income, and the ages of those seeking insurance, you can get a quote on all the Marketplace plans available to you from the three companies on Maine’s exchange: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Community Health Options, and Harvard Pilgrim. And you will learn if you qualify for financial assistance through advance premium tax credits.
If you are thinking of looking at health plans for 2018, here are a few things to consider as you review your options:
How much can you afford to pay each month for health insurance?
What do you think your income will be next year? (You can update your income throughout the year on your Marketplace account.)
Are there any specific doctors, services, or medications that you want your plan to cover?
When you are ready to enroll, it is important to gather all of the information you will need to complete your application:
information about your household such as Social Security numbers, birthdates, income, and tax returns
a list of your doctors, services and medications you require
your username and password if you already have a Marketplace account
an email address that you are able to log into if you do not yet have a Marketplace account.
MLA’s Navigators are here to make sure that fishermen and their families have access to the right information — and to assist them with their health insurance options and enrollment. Be sure to visit www.healthcare.gov to see what plans are available. Please contact the MLA’s Navigators to set up appointment at 207-967-4555.