February 19, 2018
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Councilman Joe Baldacci holds conference call about Health Insurance Marketplaces with President Obama in Bangor office

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City Councilman Joe Baldacci in his Bangor law office where he held a conference call with Pres. Obama about Obamacare. photo by du Houx

A Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) report finds that in Maine, consumers will see increased competition in the Health Insurance Marketplace, leading to new and affordable choices.

“Once people know what the law provides for protections and for coverage they like it,” said President Barack Obama on a conference call with Bangor City Councilman Joe Baldacci, Kandie Davenport – Desill and Michael Costello.

Secretary of HHS Kathleen Sebelius, and Valerie Jarrett amongst other state and local officials participated on the call yesterday afternoon at Baldacci’s Bangor Law Firm.

“The President urged the mayors and state officials on the call to hold awareness events on October 1st to spread what the benefits of the ACA are to the public and to encourage their communities to hold outreach and education events,” said Baldacci. “In Bangor I have asked our acting Health director Patty Hamilton to come back to the City Council with a public outreach and education session that we can broadcast and circulate to other communities to put on their local government channel.”

Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the Health Insurance Marketplace begins October 1, 2013. To find out any answer concerning the Affordable Care Act call: 1-800-318-2596.

The report found that in Maine, a 27 year old making $25,000 a year would have access to insurance plans as low as $96 a month and a family of four making $50,000 could pay as little as $104.

The report also found that in addition to lower premiums, in Maine, consumers will be able to choose from an average of 20 plans so they can pick the plan that works best for them and their family. The health care plans give Mainers access to quality affordable coverage with no lifetime caps on care, ends discrimination due to preexisting conditions, bars insurers from charging women more and so much more.

“We are excited to see that rates in the Marketplace are even lower than originally projected,” said Secretary Sebelius. “In the past, consumers were too often denied or priced-out of quality health insurance options, but thanks to the Affordable Care Act consumers will be able to choose from a number of new coverage options at a price that is affordable.”

In less than a week, the new Marketplace will be open for business where millions of Americans can shop for and purchase health insurance coverage in one place. Consumers will be able to find out whether they qualify for premium assistance and compare plans side-by-side based on pricing, quality and benefits. No one can be denied coverage because of a preexisting condition. October 1 marks the beginning of a six-month long open enrollment period that runs through March 2014. Coverage begins as early as January 1.

Today’s report finds that individuals in the 36 states where HHS will fully or partly run the Marketplace will have an average of 53 qualified health plan choices. Plans in the Marketplace will be categorized as either “gold,” “silver,” or “bronze,” depending on the share of costs covered. Young adults will also have the option of purchasing a “catastrophic” plan, increasing their number of choices to 57 on average. About 95 percent of consumers will have a choice of two or more health insurance issuers, often many more. About 1 in 4 of these insurance companies is offering health plans in the individual market for the first time in 2014, a sign of healthy competition.

Consumers can get more information through HealthCare.gov, or cuidadodesalud.gov. Consumers can participate in online web chats or call 1-800-318-2596 toll free. Community health centers, Navigators and other assisters are available in local communities to provide in-person help with coverage choices. Local libraries will help consumers learn about their options and hundreds of Champions for Coverage, which are public and private organizations all across the country, are helping people learn about their options and enroll in affordable coverage.