To the Editor:
For anyone who does not have health care coverage through an employer or a government program, such as Medicare or Medicaid, the time to review and purchase health insurance is here. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment period is now underway, and this is the only time of year when Mainers who purchase their health insurance on the open market can make changes to their coverage.
Mainers from Madawaska to Kittery only have a few weeks to take advantage of this opportunity as the open enrollment period ends on Dec. 15.
The cost of available health insurance plans depends on income. During open enrollment, one can explore health plans that offer a variety of options to meet your health needs. After reviewing available plans, there are some important things to consider.
For example, most plans fall into four categories with a range of monthly premiums, out-of-pocket costs and deductibles. For those who qualify, the ACA also offers catastrophic care generally reserved for people under 30 and often including high-deductibles but low monthly premiums. Some individuals may be eligible for federal financial assistance.
For those needing help choosing health insurance coverage or who have questions, free local assistance is available. Consumers for Affordable Health Care (CAHC) maintains a list of organizations offering such “navigator” services.
The process can be confusing, but CAHC, Maine’s Community Action Centers and many other groups are ready to help you.
This is the only time you can make changes to your coverage, and we urge Mainers to review their health care options right away so they can get the care they need in 2018.
AARP Maine Outreach Director