What to Know About the American Rescue Plan Act
You may be eligible for financial help with health insurance costs.
There is good news about your health insurance coverage. The American Rescue Plan Act recently increased the Marketplace tax credit dollars at every income level. With this new legislation, you could qualify for premium tax credits that you can use to lower your monthly insurance payment. This legislation, combined with the Open Enrollment extension through August 15, 2021, means more time for individuals and families to enroll and get financial help with Marketplace coverage.
How can you determine your eligibility?
We encourage you to visit healthoptions.org to obtain a summary of your Marketplace eligibility. Click on “Find a plan;” select ”Shop as an individual or family,” and answer a few basic questions to receive an estimate of your eligibility.
I am eligible for tax credits. What should I do?
If you are eligible for an additional or new tax credit, you must contact the Marketplace by calling (800) 318-2596 or visiting healthcare.gov.
Can I change my Health Options’ plan?
Yes, now through August 15, you can switch to another Health Options’ plan based on your health insurance needs, your budget, and this additional financial help.
Will my 2021 expenditures from my current Health Options’ plan transfer to a new Health Options’ plan?
Yes, any 2021 expenditures towards your deductible or out-of-pocket maximum will carry over to any new Health Options’ plan you choose.*
When will my monthly insurance payments be updated?
Changes to your invoice will become effective the first day of the month after you contact the Marketplace.
Although healthcare.gov determines eligibility for a Marketplace plan and premium tax credits, we are here to help answer any questions you may have about our plans. Please contact us at (855) 624-6463, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
*Please note: Your 2021 payments applied to deductible and out-of-pocket maximum will carry over to your new Health Options’ plan as long as there is no interruption in coverage and you are not moving from a Health Options’ group plan to an individual plan.
Maine Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa, in a recent press release, urged Mainers who don't have health insurance to buy coverage during the extended Open Enrollment that is running now through August 15, 2021.
[Note: On March 23, this special enrollment opportunity was extended until August 15, 2021. This action will allow individuals and families more time to access the SEP and enroll in Marketplace coverage with the increased tax credits to reduce their premiums and for those currently enrolled to change plans in response to the increased tax credit availability.]
Cioppa said, "If you thought that you can't afford to buy health insurance, it's a good idea to take another look. Plans have changed, some rates have gone down this year, and depending on any changes to your income and household size, you may qualify for more assistance than in the past."
His good news came with some words of caution: "Mainers should be sure to use trustworthy sources to get the best healthcare coverage at the best price," Cioppa said. "We've received complaints from consumers who purchased plans they thought provided comprehensive coverage, but that actually have very limited benefits."
We are proud that Cioppa cites Community Health Options as one of only three trustworthy sources of comprehensive health insurance providers in Maine. To earn this distinction, we must provide broad coverage for office visits, lab work, emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and medications, and we are required by law to pay for a certain percentage of our Members’ medical costs.
Cioppa urges Maine people to beware of any organization offering health insurance that makes you feel pressured to buy or asks for financial information or a Social Security number over the phone. Always read plan materials carefully.
When in doubt, check with coverme.gov or call Health Options’ Member Services at (855) 624-6463 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.