Maine’s legislators have tried for decades to fix its health care system, but health insurance premiums for large employer groups are still among the least affordable in the nation, according to New York Times
. In addition, health care spending per person is among the highest and hospital emergency rooms are statistically ranked among the most crowded. Some other key statistics about healthcare in Maine:
- The state-sponsored insurance plan has been capped at fewer than 9,000 and the most common choice of those buying new plans is — leading many to avoid important medical visits
- Maine is one of 17 states that limits how much insurers can charge people for being older, and it does not allow exclusions for previous illnesses — both policies that are part of national reform proposals.
- One result is that premiums for younger people are relatively high; although national proposals would require that nearly everyone get coverage or pay a penalty, Maine’s Legislature rejected such a mandate so many young people do not or cannot find affordable insurance.
In Maine, Aetna Health is one of the largest group and individual health insurance providers, with more than 71,837 policy holders.
In Maine, your ability to buy individual health coverage may depend on your health status. There are certain circumstances, however, when you must be allowed to buy individual health coverage. In general, companies that sell individual health insurance in Maine are free to turn you down because of your health status and other factors. When applying for individual coverage, you may be asked questions about health conditions you have now or had in the past. Depending on your health status, insurers might refuse to sell you coverage or offer to sell you a policy that has special limitations on what it covers.
Maine group health insurance is sold to businesses and organizations in Maine who then provide coverage to their employees and members. These groups and business health insurance plans are inexpensive compared to individual or family coverage because the cost of medical services can be spread among a larger group of people. Since the risk associated with small group health insurance is lower for the insurance company, they are also more willing to underwrite policies for those with pre-existing conditions. In fact, all small group health insurance plans are required to be guaranteed issue according to federal law.
Keeping your family healthy is essential to enjoying the best quality of life. Family health insurance is one of the best ways to protect their health. Normally, family health insurance plans consist on an individual (usually a parent or other adult) adding immediate family members to their policy. Affordable family health insurance usually costs less than having a separate health insurance policy for each person. Also, a family health insurance plan usually has a higher coverage cap or lower combined deductible than an individual one.
Underwriting standards for affordable temporary health insurance are normally stricter than normal individual or family plans. If you have a pre-existing condition, you may not be able to buy a short term health insurance plan at all. In this case, an individual policy may be a better value than short term health insurance if you can afford to wait a little while before your coverage takes effect. Most individual plans allow you to cancel coverage at any time.
When attending college in Maine, it is very important to have student health insurance. Many colleges and universities require proof of health insurance for students; even if yours does not, cheap student health insurance will probably end up paying for itself. While you may be young and healthy now, sudden illness and accidents can happen. In that case, you will be very happy if you have college student health insurance. Don’t end up graduating with medical debt in addition to student loans!