Maine Health Insurance

Having a suitable health insurance protects you and your family against financial catastrophes rising from the happening of illness or injury. It is imperative to assess all the future risks and its influence on your financial standing. In the U.S., approximately 47 million people are uninsured, among whom a majority of families are exposed to the lack of proper health coverage. For those families who are not covered by their employers’ group plan, there are low-cost state sponsored health insurance programs that provide insurance to the medically-uninsurable individuals.

Maine is the 9th healthiest state to live in and obtain health coverage according to the 2008 America’s Health Rankings. The state continues to enjoy a strong health care system; it was on the 7th and 9th spot in 2007 and 2006 respectively. Despite the state’s low public funding, the low violent crime rates and the low percentage of residents lacking health insurance has contributed to the steady ranking in its health care score. The state of Maine, with more than one million residents, offers both private-market and public health insurance alternatives. The private-market health insurance consists of various types of health plans including family, Medicare supplemental, short-term, student, group and dental. Additionally, the state and federal government sponsored programs provide low-cost coverage to the uninsurable citizens of Maine who meet specific eligibility requirements of age and income.

The Maine Bureau of Insurance manages and administers all kinds of insurance sold through private-market health insurers as well as public health coverage programs. However, state has the lowest percentage of citizens without insurance, i.e. roughly 9.1%. According to the Censor Bureau’s 2007 and 2008 Current Population Survey, roughly 46.4% of Maine’s uninsured citizens come under the above 200% FPL category.

Buying health coverage can often prove to be confusing. However, with the help of a licensed health insurance agent/broker, you can select a proper health insurance plan with benefits that suit your family.

Individual/Family Health Insurance

Below is the guidelines for applying for and obtaining individual health insurance in the state of Maine. These regulations apply to all insurance companies offering individual or family health insurance in Maine.

Medical Underwriting Yes
Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion Period 12 months
Look Back Period 12 months
Look Back Standard Prudent person
Mandatory Benefits Cancer screening for women including screening of breast cancer and cervical cancer, mastectomy stay as determined by the surgeon, constructive surgery after mastectomy, direct access to OB/GYNs, OB/GYNs as Primary Care Providers, eating disorder parity
Market Rate Restrictions Yes
Guaranteed Issue Options None

Small Group Health Insurance

Below is the guidelines for small group health insurance in the state of Maine. These regulations apply to all insurance companies offering small group health insurance in Maine.

Small Group Size 1-50
Employee Qualifications Owner can count as an Employee
Guaranteed Issue Yes
Premium Rating Factors Adjusted Community Rating
Rate Adjustment Factors 20%
Look-Back Period 6 months
Pre-existing condition exclusionary period 12 months
Mandatory Benefits Same as individual

State Cobra Variations for Small Groups

Below are the COBRA guidelines for small groups in the state of Maine. For employer groups of more than 20 employees, refer to the federal COBRA guidelines:

Mini-Cobra Option Yes
Eligible Group Sizes 2-19
Extension of Benefits Period – Standard 18 months
Extension of Benefits Period – Disabled 18 months
Maximum Premium Increase 102%
State Legislation Reference Statute 24-A, Chapter 36 of the Maine Continuity of Health Insurance Coverage
Additional Notes Mini-Cobra coverage is provided to eligible individuals that elect this option within 31 days.

State Sponsored Health Insurance Programs

There are several state sponsored health insurance programs in the State of Maine to assist those without insurance in obtaining adequate coverage.

High-Risk Pools

Some states offer special state sponsored health insurance plans for qualified persons that are not eligible for individual health insurance due to pre-existing medical conditions. However, Maine does not offer health insurance coverage through state high risk pool program for individuals who are medically-uninsurable.

Children’s Health Insurance Program

Through shared funding from the federal government, the State of Maine provides health insurance for uninsured children that meet certain eligibility guidelines. A summary of this program is outlined in the chart below:

Program Name MaineCare
Website http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/OIAS/services/cubcare/CubCare.htm
Phone Number 877-kids-now
Apply Online Yes
Age Limits Under 18
Insurance Carrier
Length of Coverage 12 months
Residency Requirements Maine resident
Other Eligibility Requirements Income must be equal to or less than 200% of the FPL
Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions None
Cost There is no cost for most families. Some families must pay a small monthly premium between $8 and $64.00 for their children’s coverage. Some parents must pay a small co-payment for services.

Medicaid

Medicaid is a state program partially funded through the federal government. Qualification guidelines, as well as the types of people that are eligible, will vary by state. The chart below provides a summary of the Medicaid programs in the State of Maine:

Governing Agency Department of Health and Human Services
Website http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/oms/
Phone Number 800-442-6382, 207-287-2826, 207-624-7539
Residency Requirements Maine resident
Federal Poverty Line Income Limits Pregnant women at or below 200% FPL;
Infants at or below 185% FPL;
Working or nonworking parents with children
under the age of 18 at or below 200% FPL; Children age 1-20 at or below 150% FPL;
Working Disabled at or below 250%;

Additional Resources

Maine Health Care Options Matrix™ Guide

Provided by the Foundation for Health Coverage Education, the guide is a quick reference guide prepared by the non-profit Foundation for Health Coverage Education that outlines Maine’s public and private health care choices for individuals and groups with various demographic profiles.

Family Health Insurance Guide by HealthInsuranceFinders.com

The guide created by HealthInsuranceFinders.com provides useful information regarding health insurance coverage such as individual/family health insurance, group health insurance, separate child health insurance and state-sponsored programs that are available for low to middle income families.

Maine: At-A-Glance

Provides exclusive health data of Maine. Statehealthfacts.org is a project of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and is designed to provide free, up-to-date, and easy-to-use health data on all 50 states.