Affordable Care Act

Mainers who lost health care coverage when health insurer Anthem stopped selling plans through the federal marketplace can still purchase a new plan.

State insurance bureau superintendent Eric Cioppa said such individuals qualify for a special enrollment period until March 1.

Anthem cited uncertainty and a shrinking customer base in its decision last year to stop selling plans it sold through the federal health care marketplace.

BANGOR, Maine - Federal officials are giving Maine residents affected by a massive power outage more time to enroll for health care under the Affordable Care Act.
The Bangor Daily News reports that independent Sen. Angus King shared a letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Friday which says residents could qualify for an extension through a special enrollment period.

PORTLAND, Maine - Thousands of Mainers are signing up for individual health plans under the health care overhaul that's under threat by President Donald Trump's administration.
Figures released by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Wednesday indicate more than 40,600 Mainers had signed up for 2018 plans on the Affordable Care Act individual marketplace. The deadline for signing up is Friday.

PORTLAND, Maine - U.S. Sen. Angus King wants Maine residents to get more time to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act given that much of the state was without electricity during the first week of the enrollment period.
King, an independent, wrote to the federal government this week asking that the enrollment period be extended for Maine residents because more than 100,000 Central Maine Power and Emera Maine customers were still without power when the enrollment period opened on Nov. 1, a few days after strong wind and heavy rain hit the state.

Today marks the beginning of open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act's online health insurance marketplace.

Affordable Care Act: Sign Up

Oct 25, 2017

Experts give answers to listener questions about signing up for insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

Guests:  Julie Rovner, Chief Washington Correspondent. Kaiser Health News


Kate Ende, Consumer Assistance Program Manager with Mainers for Affordable Health Care


Ashley McCarthy, Health Navigator Program Coordinator, Western Maine Community Action


WASHINGTON - A leading Republican senator says he and a top Democrat have reached an agreement on a plan to extend federal payments to health insurers that President Donald Trump has blocked.
GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee tells reporters that the next step will be for him and his negotiating partner - Democrat Patty Murray - to win enough support from colleagues to push it through Congress.

Insurers and consumer advocates in Maine are denouncing President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will stop payments to insurance companies that help low-income enrollees buy health coverage.

Though Maine consumers who purchase coverage on the Affordable Care Act marketplace likely won’t feel any immediate effects, opponents of the action say it’s an attempt to sabotage the ACA.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine's independent senator says he wants to take a cautious, deliberate approach to a health care overhaul proposed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Sen. Angus King caucuses with the Democrats and is one of two independents in the Senate, along with Sanders. King says Sanders' proposal constitutes a "sweeping change'' and Congress needs to know more about the price tag and how it would affect consumers.
Sanders' proposal would give government a much bigger role in insuring Americans. It has attracted 16 Democratic co-sponsors.

PORTLAND, Maine - A pair of U.S. senators is reintroducing a proposal that would change the definition of a full-time employee under the Affordable Care Act to someone who works an average of 40 hours per week.
Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Indiana Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly are making the proposal. They say employers across the country are cutting employees' hours due to the health care law's definition of a full-time employee.

As the U.S. Senate holds hearings this week to work toward a possible bipartisan compromise on health care, Maine consumers have some ideas. Not surprisingly, they don’t want to be without insurance, and they don’t want it to be beyond their price range either.

Maine U.S. Sen. Susan Collins says high-risk pools could be one way to make health insurance plans more affordable.

Collins serves on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which is holding hearings aimed at developing a replacement law for the Affordable Care Act. 

Collins acknowledges that some states might need federal assistance in setting up high-risk pools, and she questioned several governors about wether they have the resources to set up reinsurance systems.

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

Maine U.S. Sen. Susan Collins says she will oppose efforts by Senate majority Leader Mitch McConnell to repeal Obamacare before a replacement for the health care law is developed.

“I will vote 'no' on the motion to proceed to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement," she says. "I voted against this same proposal in 2015 and I do not think that it’s going to be constructive.”

And - as she did before - Collins says repealing without replacing will cause turmoil in the insurance industry and put many at risk of no coverage. 

PORTLAND, Maine - A major health insurance provider in Maine is predicting enrollment in the state's Affordable Care Act insurance market will drop.
The Portland Press Herald reports Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield foresees an 11 percent drop in Maine's ACA marketplace. Anthem attributes the potential decrease to President Donald Trump's health care policies.

Health insurers for Maine’s individual market are requesting average premium increases from 20 to 40 percent next year.

High usage and market instability are driving the increases, and some insurers say they may leave the market altogether unless Washington takes action to stabilize it.

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care is requesting the largest increase — an average of just under 40 percent. In a written statement, spokeswoman Mary Wallan says the rate is in line with the medical costs of its members in the marketplace.