Cioppa: Mainers recently unemployed should consider health insurance coverage options

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 4:45pm

AUGUSTA — Those who have recently lost employment during the COVID-19 pandemic should consider their health insurance options as soon as possible, according to a news release. 

“Mainers who have recently lost their employment should consider their health insurance coverage options as soon as possible, to protect themselves and their families,” said Maine Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa, in a news release. 

The Superintendent reminded Mainers that individuals and families have 60 days from the day they lose their coverage to apply for a new policy.

The best place to start is at healthcare.gov, which may provide more affordable options than an employer's COBRA plan Cioppa stated. Depending on household size and household income, individuals and families may qualify for subsidized private insurance or free or low-cost coverage through MaineCare. Completing a Marketplace application will provide individuals and family with the information about what type of coverage they qualify for.

Mainers can get help applying for coverage by contacting Consumers for Affordable Health Care at 800-965-7476. More information is available at mainecahc.org/covid-19-coronavirus.

In the past two weeks, the Superintendent has issued orders requiring - among other things that private, fully insured plans pay the full costs of testing for COVID-19; and pay the cost of telehealth services (including services by phone) at the same rate as comparable in-person health services.

The Department of Health and Human Services has made similar provisions for MaineCare recipients. While these additional protections in the face of the current pandemic are critical to slowing the spread of the virus and to protecting our citizens, both physically and financially, individuals need to do what they can to protect themselves from other COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 health risk and costs, said Cioppa.

Cioppa noted his staff is always available Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist Maine consumers with insurance questions and problems.

Consumers with questions about insurance matters can obtain information and assistance from the Maine Bureau of Insurance by visiting maine.gov/insurance, calling 800-300-5000 (TTY call Maine Relay 711), or e-mailing Insurance.PFR@maine.gov.

Mainers can learn more about MaineCare by visiting CoverME.gov/eligibility.