Need Health Insurance?

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You may still be able to get it through the Marketplace ("ObamaCare")

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) most people can only buy health insurance through the Marketplace during "open enrollment" periods.

However, sometimes you can sign up before the next open enrollment if you have a change in your life, which is referred to as a ‘qualifying life event.’  This is called a “special enrollment period.”

Changes in your life – ‘qualifying life events’ - that allow you to buy a Marketplace plan during a special enrollment period include:

  • Marriage, birth, adoption;
  • Moving outside of the area that your current insurance covers;
  • Certain changes to your income if you are already in a Marketplace plan;
  • A change in your immigration status;
  • Problems with your insurance because of a Marketplace error or other difficult cases; or
  • Losing other health insurance - for example, if you lose it because you lost your job, got a divorce, stopped being eligible for MaineCare, or COBRA.

Note:  The health care law requires insurance policies to cover certain ‘essential benefits’ for preventive care and other services including prescription drugs.  Losing coverage that does not include ‘essential benefits’ does not qualify you for a special enrollment period. 

Most special enrollment periods last for 60-days from the date of the qualifying life event.  Be sure to apply during the special enrollment period as soon as possible after the qualifying life event occurs.  You can apply at HealthCare.gov or by calling 1-800-318-2596. 

The next open enrollment that will allow people to buy coverage for 2016 will start on November 1, 2015.

Apply for MaineCare or CHIP at Any Time:

You may also apply at any time for MaineCare (Maine’s Medicaid program) or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  You can apply for these programs at any time.  Apply on line at: www.maine.gov/mymaineconnection, go to your local DHHS office, or call DHHS at 1-855-797-4357 to find out where to get help to apply.

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