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Maine Community Health Options

The Maine Arts Commission has worked for a long time to connect Maine’s creative sector with affordable health insurance. The Maine Arts Commission serves as a resource to Maine Community Health Options (MCHO), informing MCHO of the needs of artists and does not answer questions on behalf of MCHO. All inquiries about personal insurance coverage should be directed to MCHO

 

On January 2014, Maine Community Health Options (MCHO) the first Maine nonprofit consumer operated and oriented (CO-OP) health plan, started offering new and affordable health insurance options for Maine people and businesses.

"MCHO is on the map as a solution for better health and lower costs for Maine people and businesses," Kevin Lewis, CEO of MCHO said. "As a result of working together with providers, consumers and employers, we will offer coverage choices that produce better results for our members."

The federal Affordable Care Act authorized the establishment of consumer-directed CO-OPs, designed to increase competition among health insurers. The CO-OP is governed by the same people who are covered by its policies and offers health plans for individuals and small businesses (less than 50 employees), and also provides health insurance options for the large group market. Unlike for-profit healthcare, profits will be used to benefit enrollees, which could be achieved through lowering premiums, improving health benefits, or performing other activities to increase the stability of coverage for CO-OP members.

The Maine Arts Commission supports the cooperative principals behind MCHO, and believes their work has great relevance to artists and other creative professionals. In Maine, affordable healthcare for artists has been a long-time concern, and the agency is optimistic about the possibilities a health CO-OP will deliver.

The agency is introducing the people of MCHO to organizations and individuals across the state so they can evaluate need and build healthcare offerings appropriate for the creative community. If you are interested in learning more you can visit the MCHO’s website at www.maineoptions.org.

 

Important Dates for Health Insurance Enrollment and Re-enrollment for 2015:

If you currently have insurance through the marketplace, you must re-enroll between November 15, 2014 and December 15, 2014. Renewing or updating information such as family size, income expectations for 2015, and plan choices in this 30 day period is critical for continuity of coverage, which begins January 1, 2015. NOTE: The Benchmark Plan can change year to year and this will impact your premium assistance!

For those seeking new coverage, the next open enrollment period is November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015. During this time you can enroll for new coverage that will begin as early as January 1, 2015.

However, if you were to lose your insurance before the end of the year—due to a lost job, or other reasons such as divorce or turning 26—you may be able to enroll via a Special Enrollment Period. Please call MCHO at 855-624-6463 to get more information.

You can check your eligibility for assistance in affording premiums and other cost sharing assistance at https://www.maineoptions.org/Individuals-Families/Compare-Quote-Plans and click on Get Quote Now. You only need your zip code, birthdate and income to determine your eligibility. 

 

For more information please contact the Media and Performing Arts Director at the Maine Arts Commission. Kerstin Gilg, 207/ 287-6719 - kerstin.gilg@maine.gov