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Agency can help pinpoint health insurance benefits

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — As of April 1, 2021, people seeking health insurance and those who are already enrolled in a plan on MaineHealth.org will see new discounts on health insurance premiums due to the American Rescue Plan. Many people who have lost their job this year qualify for even more generous subsidies. 

Under this new law, uninsured Mainers are newly eligible for financial help that lowers their monthly health insurance premiums, while additional uninsured Mainers are now eligible for even higher discounts that let them enroll in health insurance plans with no monthly premium. People whose income was too high to qualify them for financial help in the past will now be eligible for generous premium discounts. Mainers who are already enrolled in a subsidized health insurance plan on MaineHealth.org can get lower monthly premiums, too, if they return to MaineHealth.org and update their application. 

“By offering financial help to more people, regardless of income, this new law opens the door to many people who were previously priced out of health insurance and addresses the financial hardship people are experiencing due to the pandemic and the economic crisis,” said Stanley Targonski, ACAP’s health care navigator. 

Additionally, many people who are approved for unemployment benefits at any point in 2021 are eligible for a subsidy to enroll in a plan with no monthly premium and reduced deductibles. 

People who are currently enrolled in a health insurance plan on MaineHealth.org should update their application to receive the lower premiums they’re now eligible for. Current enrollees also have the option to switch plans. Under the ongoing COVID-19 special enrollment period, anyone who is uninsured can enroll in health insurance until August 15, 2021. 

“Current enrollees should visit MaineHealth.org to claim the additional discounts they now qualify for. Anyone who still needs health insurance must visit MaineHealth.org by Aug. 15, 2021, to enroll. Don’t delay,” Targonski said.

Consumers enrolling in a plan on MaineHealth.org are guaranteed to receive comprehensive coverage, with no pre existing condition exclusions or markups. All plans cover essential benefits, including doctor and hospital visits, prescription drugs, mental health treatment, and maternity care. In addition, consumers receive free preventive care services, such as vaccines and health screenings. Testing and treatment of COVID-19 are considered essential health benefits and are covered by all MaineHealth plans. 

The health insurance landscape can be confusing, but free, local help is available. Visit acap-me.org or www.getcoveredamerica.org.

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