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 Community Health Options, informing them of the needs of artists and does not answer questions on behalf of Health Options. All inquiries about personal insurance coverage should be directed to service providers like Health Options


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.  In June of 2015 MCHO changed its name to “Community Health Options” to reflect its expansion into New Hampshire and stay true to its mission of “partnering locally with individuals, businesses, and providers.” 

"Health Options is a solution for better health and lower costs for Maine people and businesses," Kevin Lewis, CEO of Health Options 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 Health Options 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 Health Options 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 Health Options’ website at


Important Dates for Health Insurance Enrollment and Re-enrollment for 2015/ 2016:

If you currently have insurance through the marketplace, you must re-enroll between November 1, 2015 and December 15, 2015. Renewing or updating information such as family size, income expectations for 2016, and plan choices in this 45 day period is critical for continuity of coverage, which begins January 1, 2016. NOTE: The Benchmark Plan can change year to year and this will impact your premium assistance!

Open Enrollment for those seeking new insurance through the marketplace will run from November 1, 2015 through January 31, 2015

However, if you were to lose your insurance before the end of this 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 Health Options at 855-624-6463 to get more information.

You can check your eligibility for assistance in affording premiums and other cost sharing assistance by going here - - and click on Quick Quote Calculator. You only need your zip code, birthdate and income to determine your eligibility. 

For more information please contact Kerstin Gilg
Director of  Media Arts and Performing Arts at the Maine Arts Commission
207/ 287-6719 - vog.eniam@glig.nitsrek