As a new-business owner and a longtime advocate for access to quality health care, I can’t tell you how grateful I am to be able to access my health coverage through the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

A couple of years ago, I made the decision to leave a career that provided me with health coverage to live my dream and start my own business.

One of the scariest parts of that decision was wondering what I was going to do about health care. There are people all over the country who are now able to take that same leap and know that they can still access the care they need.

Purchasing my insurance on the marketplace, I was able to join the 90 percent of Mainers who qualified for financial assistance that lowered their monthly premiums, making insurance affordable for so many people who have never had it before. The marketplace is making Maine a better place to be a business owner.

I got free help through my insurance agent, who worked with me and the people at to get me enrolled in a plan that covered the care I need and was still affordable for me. Certified assisters can help individuals look at all of your health insurance options; I found a few in my area using

I especially love the organization providing my coverage, Maine Community Health Options. They are a Maine business staffed by Maine people who are providing a quality product. It’s another great way to support the Maine economy. What could be better than that?

Open enrollment ends Feb. 15, but it’s going to get busy close to the deadline. Be sure you have access to the care you need when you need it!

Kimberly Crichton