Changes to Health Insurance

The Affordable Care Act

In March 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, a law designed to lower national health care costs and make health insurance options available and affordable for all Americans. In addition to chaning the way existing health insurance companies and health care organizations operate, the Affordable Care act resulted in the creation of the Health Insurance Mandate, and the Health Insurance Marketplace.

What is the Health Insurance Mandate and how will it affect me?

The Health Insurance Mandate is a new law that requires everyone to have health insurance coverage beginning in 2014. Without proof of coverage you may need to pay a fee when you file 2014 taxes. For adults the fee is roughly $95 (half that for children), or %1 of family income, whichever is more. Fees will increase each year after 2014.

What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?

The Health Insurance Marketplace was created to make it easy for individuals, families, and small businesses to become familiar with new coverage options, compare health insurance plans, enroll, and check eligibility for government assistance and tax credits. All health insurance companies are required to provide the same information about coverage options, making it easy to compare and choose the right plan to fit your needs and your budget. There will be information on all available options for Mainers, including MaineCare; and for those that don't qualify for MaineCare, there may be tax credits to help pay for coverage.

When should I visit the Health Insurance Marketplace?

The Health Insurance Marketplace will be open for enrollment on October 1, 2013. You will have the opportunity to enroll until March 31, 2014. Coverage will begin on January 1, 2014. In order to avoid paying the fee for not having health insurance coverage, you will need to show proof of coverage for at least 9 months of 2014, so it's important to go online and see you options before March 31st.

How do I access the Health Insurance Marketplace?

Beginning October 1, 2013, you can visit or call 800-318-2596 to access the Marketplace.
For more information about the Affordable Care Act, the Health Insurance Mandate, the Health Insurance Marketplace, and what your next steps should be to finding health insurance coverage, please visit.