Affordable Care Act Information
In March 2010, President Obama signed comprehensive health reform, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), into law. The law intends to make health care more accessible and affordable for all Americans.
The library is gathering information for you to learn more about the larger issues and the personal implications of the Affordable Care Act and help you make informed choices. Individuals and small businesses can use The Health Insurance Marketplace starting October 1, 2013 to apply for coverage, compare plans, and enroll. You can also call Opportunity Alliance’s 2-1-1 service to locate sources of assistance. Starting October 15th, trained Health Care Assistance volunteers from local agencies will be at the Main Library on Monday and Wednesday mornings to help do-it-yourselfers to sign up online.
The links on this page will help you find answers to questions about the ACA program:
Call 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325) to get answers to your health care questions by a customer service representative, available 24/7. On calling, you’ll be welcomed to the Health Insurance Marketplace and asked to give your state.
There are 3 key dates you will want to mark on your calendar:
1. October 1, 2013: Marketplace open enrollment starts
2. January 1, 2014: Health coverage can start
3. March 31, 2014: Open enrollment ends
If you live in Maine (both individuals and small businesses), you will use The Health Insurance Marketplace, to apply for coverage, compare plans, and enroll. You can apply as early as October 1, 2013.
- To prepare to enroll, you can learn about types of health coverage, research your questions, and figure out what you need to know before open enrollment begins.
- Short videos are available on:
- You can create an account now in preparation for 10/1.
For more general information about the ACA:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- The Kaiser Family Foundation.
- The Affordable Care Act: What’s Next for Maine? Trish Riley, Muskie School of Public Service
- Consumers for Affordable Healthcare
- The Maine State Library – provides helpful links to summary videos, fact sheets and links to printable forms (for those who do not wish to apply online)
The two Navigator agencies in the Portland area are the Portland Community Health Center and the Opportunity Alliance. Call (207) 874-2141 to reach Portland Community Health Center to learn about the new health insurance options. Opportunity Alliance runs the 2-1-1 service and people can call that number to locate sources of assistance. There will be Navigators and Certified Application Counselors. These people cannot recommend one policy over another but can explain the options and guide people through the process.
Navigators/MAINE Two organizations, Western Maine Community Action and Fishing Partnership Support Services, were selected to provide “Navigators” for Maine citizens. Navigators will serve as an in-person resource for people with questions regarding shopping for and enrolling in plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace this fall. These organizations will be providing people assistance in enrolling and will work with libraries to hold workshops.
Tax Provisions. The ACA contains new health insurance coverage and financial assistance options for individuals and families. The IRS will administer the tax provisions included in the law.
Are you a Veteran? Visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs page ‘VA, Affordable Care Act and You’
Forms – Marketplace Consumer Application
Publications – Bi-fold brochures
Files below require the free Adobe Reader.
- The Value of Health Insurance - Basic information about the insurance
- About the Health Insurance Marketplace - General description
- About the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) - brochure
- Things to Think About When Choosing a Plan for Your Business - fact sheet
- How the SHOP Marketplace Works 4 steps to enrolling