This holiday season, the most important card any of us can receive is a health insurance card, along with the security and peace of mind that quality, affordable coverage brings with it.

We are all just one accident or unexpected diagnosis away from needing health insurance. Yet, for generations, millions of Americans have found that quality coverage has been out of reach … until now.

Quality health coverage is more affordable than ever, thanks to the Affordable Care Act and the health insurance marketplace – but you’ll want to act soon.

Whether you’re renewing your coverage from the last open enrollment or signing up for the first time, you may be surprised at just how affordable coverage can be. Here in Maine, 77 percent of current consumers can find coverage through the marketplace for as little as $100 a month or less, with financial assistance that lowers the cost of a monthly premium. For many of us, that’s less than our monthly cellphone bill.

Make no mistake: This is quality health coverage. All marketplace plans are guaranteed to cover a set of benefits, like annual visits to your doctor, prescription medications, hospital stays, maternity and newborn care, and certain preventive services (provided at no out-of-pocket cost).

Insurance companies can no longer impose an annual cap on your health benefits. They can’t deny you coverage simply because you get sick, have a medical condition or you made a mistake on your paperwork. And you can’t get charged more for your coverage just because you happen to be a woman.

So if you don’t have coverage, I encourage you to visit or call 1 (800) 318-2596 (TTY: 1 (855) 889-4325) to learn about the plans in your area, to see what financial assistance is available and to get covered.

You can also find in-person assistance in your community at or The deadline was Dec. 15 for coverage that begins Jan. 1, but it’s not too late to get covered. Open enrollment runs through Feb. 15.

If you signed up for marketplace coverage last year, it’s not too late to come back and see what new choices are available to you and your family. With an average of 25 percent more plans to choose from this year, there’s more competition. That means you may find a plan that saves you more money, offers more services or includes more doctors. On average, consumers can choose from 40 plans.

So now is the time to come back. Most new customers will find an application that’s much simpler and more intuitive than last year’s. If you’re a returning customer, you’ll discover that most of the application fields are already filled out for you, using your application from last year.

There are five steps for renewing your coverage:

Review your plan.

Update your information (including your household income).

Compare your current plan to others available in your area.

Choose the plan that best fits your budget and health needs.


Better choices. Better coverage. Better health. The evidence tells us that – in terms of the key metrics of affordability, access and quality – the Affordable Care Act is working, and millions of families, businesses and taxpayers are better off as a result.

Fewer Americans are uninsured, middle-class families have more security and many of those who already had insurance now have better coverage. At the same time, we’re spending our health care dollars more wisely, and we’re starting to receive higher-quality care.

There is still time. You may have the chance to save some money while obtaining the security and peace of mind that come with quality, affordable health coverage – but you’ll want to act soon.

Have questions? Need help signing up? Remember, you can get assistance locally from federally trained and certified navigators, application counselors and brokers. Visit to find someone in your community, or call the Consumers for Affordable Health Care HelpLine at 1 (800) 965-7476.

Don’t delay – visit today!