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Your personal guide to navigating through health care reform.


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low cost health insurance
OnlineNavigator insurance enrollment supportNeed help?

We make it easy to get friendly, personal and help with health care reform questions with two fast and free support options:

Online support:
OnlineNavigator
is an independent adviser service offering free online support about any health reform issue. OnlineNavigator is not acting as agent for any qualified health insurance marketplace and is not affiliated with any federal or state programs. This service is available online 24/7 through email and social media sites usually with same day response. See the web site for details on privacy policy and terms of service.

Telephone support:
Live sales agent support is available during business hours at (800) 609-0683.

Most Liberal Eligibility

Health plans for diabetics - a listing of the health plan options and other resources
Core Health Insurance - the nation's most popular defined benefit health plans with guaranteed acceptance from US Fire Insurance Company
Value 24 Hour Accident - up to $10,000 of supplemental health insurance coverage for emergency treatment of injuries at a cost of about $2 per day. Can be used as a stand-alone coverage or added to other insurance.

Most Affordable

Secure Lite STM - the lowest priced major medical insurance for 1 to 12 months
Secure Saver STM - $2 million maximum coverage for 1-12 months at an ultra-low rate
Value Med Insurance - 3 question simple medical eligibility and immediate approval for supplemental doctor and hospital benefits

Long Term Major Medical

Members Health Insurance Exchange allows you to price and choose from among many of the nations leading major medical health insurance options from a wide range of carriers. Personal help is available through OnlineNavigator to help with your selection.

Dental Insurance

Core Dental Insurance - preventive, basic, and major dental expenses with the dentist of your choice. Shortest waiting period.
Secure DentalOne - one lifetime deductible of $100 and then up to $1,250 per year coverage

Online Life Insurance

Smart Term Life Insurance - affordable term life insurance up to $350,000 issued same day with a direct online application. No exam, agent appointment or telephone verification required.
International Term Life - up to $2 million coverage issued by Lloyds online specifically for those who spend time outside of the US

Maine affordable health insurance exchange and supplemental coverage

Prior to implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Maine residents who needed health insurance had access to the products of several commercial health insurance companies that offered individual major medical insurance and 8 companies that issued small group insurance as well as the Dirigo high risk health plan for residents who have been denied commercial coverage due to pre-existing medical conditions. These standard health insurance plans may not be affordable to all residents.

Since the passage of federal health insurance reform law, individuals and small businesses (with less than 50 employees) in Maine can now purchase health insurance through the federal heath insurance clearinghouse or through a number of privately operated insurance exchanges. The state government is likely to expand its own insurance exchange system in cooperation with either the federal or private systems within the next few years. Non-insurance options, like Health Savings Accounts (HSA), Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) can be added as effective cost-control tools; ask your adviser for more information. This Web page lists some of the most popular low cost commercial health insurance plans and related benefits. Freedom Benefits offers personal assistance with any insurance exchange or health reform issue through www.OnlineNavigator.org . Please note that while many of these choices could be included in more than one of the suggested usage categories, each plan is listed only once for the sake of brevity. Your enrollment adviser is available to discuss suitability of any plan for your specific situation.

Beginning in 2014, Maine's online insurance exchange for individuals and businesses will be run by the federal government. That exchange will focus on a new specific type of insurance defined by federal law. More information on the federal health insurance exchange is available at HealthCare.gov.

The state insurance exchange is expected to be online by October 2013 with coverage starting January 2014, so individuals without insurance should make arrangements for temporary coverage until then. Covered health benefits under insurance purchased through the exchange in 2014 will be different than those offered though any 2013 health plans. The insurance plan that sets the benchmark for qualified coverage through the exchange is listed here and a list of state-mandated benefits can be found here.

Commercial insurance exchanges may also list less expensive insurance without the essential health benefits. Members Health Insurance Exchange handles pricing and direct online enrollment for many of the state's most popular commercial major medical insurance plans for individuals and families.

low cost health insurance

Maine insurance & benefit news

Maine had the 10th highest health insurance costs of all states in 2008 with an average family premium of $13,102 per year. (The average annual premium for a U.S. family covered under an employer-sponsored health plan in 2008 was $12,298 according to The Commonwealth Fund report. The overall quality of health care ranked 5th out of the 51 states (including DC).
The state has the 19th highest small business health insurance costs in the U.S. according to a 2010 Department of Health and Human Services report with an average premium of $991 per month for family coverage.
Maine regulates the benefits required for both individual major medical and group health insurance plans, known as "mandated benefits".

Short Term Insurance

Markel Smart STM - popular and affordable short term major medical insurance with fast online approval
Secure STM - this may be the highest quality short term coverage

Maine insurance law allows each policy to extend to a maximum of six months. You can reapply but there must be a 12 month break in coverage before you can reapply with the same insurance company if the total amount of time covered under short term policies with one insurance company exceeds 24 months. 

Intermediate Term

Inbound Immigrant - up to five years of liberal health insurance coverage after immigration including maternity coverage, emergency and other essential benefits

Supplemental Insurance

Consumers Direct Accident Medical - Protection UpgradeSM supplemental coverage for as little as $20 per month.
Smart Accident Insurance - supplemental coverage for emergency treatment of accidents and injuries for as little as $20 per month. Can be used as a stand-alone accident plan or to increase other insurance benefits.


low cost health insurance

Maine insurance law and regulation

The Maine Bureau of Insurance Web site contains a link to the full text of all of the state's insurance laws and regulations as well as information to help consumers file a complaint about an unresolved insurance problem. The Web site has not yet developed resources to help individuals find commercial low cost health plans like mini-med or core coverage, specific illness policies, supplemental insurance and basic health insurance.
The state insurance department can be reached by telephone at (207) 624-8475 or by mail at #34 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333-0034. The state children's health insurance plan (CHIP) Web site is Maine Office of Integrated Access and Support.

Small business plans

Freedom Benefits offers professional help with setup of self-administered Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA), Premium Reimbursement Plans, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and insurance at a low price than any small business can afford.

Non-insurance Discount Plans

Careington PPO Discount Plans - the nation's leading network PPO discount provider allows a no-risk trial of any discount plan for only a $20 processing fee
Drug Card America - a free prescription drug card that an be used nationwide
Essential Dental Solutions - simple, inexpensive, no waiting period, up to $500 treatment per year
Rx Pay Card - $10, $20, or $30 payments for hundreds of popular prescriptions.

Telemedicine

CallMD - Doctors and nurses literally on call 24/7 to answer questions, help with medical screening and write prescriptions saving you money with the most common types of medical care. $20 per month covers everyone in the household.

International Coverage and Travel Insurance

Maine Insurance News

2/11/ 2014 Professional support for any health care reform issue is available free of charge through an arrangement with OnlineNavigator. All online inquiries are handled personally by Tony Novak, CPA. Online support is available through a number of popular social media channels including Facebook and Google+ as well as e-mail. Telephone support for insurance enrollment is available through Members Insurance Exchange at (800) 609-0683.

7/26/2013 Affordable Smart Term Life Insurance is now available to most Maine residents from age 20 through 60 directly online with no physical exam, agent appointment or telephone verification. Most policies are issued on the same day with coverage amounts of $25,000 up to $350,000. The level premium life insurance is available for terms of 10, 15, 20 and 30 years. Sample rates for $150,000 coverage for a preferred risk male age 30, non-tobacco $30.85 per month; tobacco user $49.55 per month. A preferred risk female age 30 non-tobacco user would be $26.49 per month and a tobacco user would be $40.96 per month. Rates are higher for older applicants and lower health risks as described online. Pricing is based on input you provide about your medical history but, unlike most other life insurers, does not consider family medical history. Coverage is issued by innovative National Life Group, rated "A" by A.M. Best Company for 2013.

3/11/2013 This page was updated to include a link to the insurance plan that will be used to determine specific "essential health benefits" for insurance that qualified for 2014 federal tax purposes. Also, a link to additional covered benefits required by state law. Non-qualified insurance is likely to continue to be available at a lower cost that does not include these benefits nor qualify for federal tax purposes.

2/1/2012 The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, a division of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that as of June 30, 2011 Anthem Health Plans of Maine and Aetna are the state's largest health insurance providers and as such, earn the right to set the benchmark for the development of the state's essential benefit plans to debut in 2014 under health reform law.

1/12/2012 Value Access Guarantee is no longer available in Maine.

10/17/2011 State law H 1140 enacted as Public Law 2011-364 on 6/16/2011 permits insurance companies to set the premium rate for smokers at 20% higher than the non-smoker premium.

5/17/2011 Insurance commissioner Kofman resigned citing differences with the Governor in bringing about affordable insurance solutions to Maine's residents. Generally, she proposes more government regulation of insurance while the Governor wants less. At her initial appointment in 2008 Kofman said "The biggest issue for the state is health insurance and that will be one of my top priorities -- to help policymakers try to figure out ways to address affordability and coverage issues." Over the past few years the number of affordable health plans available to consumers have declined in Maine under strict interpretation while they greatly expanded in other states. The governor and a majority of the state's legislators have concluded that increased government intervention is not in consumers' best interests. We believe this resignation will help speed up the return of consumer choice among health insurance plans available in Maine. 

5/8/2011 Maine's House of Representatives approved an ambitious health care reform bill to overhaul Maine's health insurance system and create a new one designed to foster more competition. The changes for individual health plans would be phased in over four years. The bill also would authorize the renewal of short-term health insurance policies for a period not to exceed 24 months, instead of the current 12-month limit. By 2014, the bill would allow Maine residents to purchase insurance across state lines in four New England states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire or Rhode Island. In addition, it would establish an individual market reinsurance pool to be funded through a covered lives assessment capped at $4 per month, per person. The bill is likely to pass the Senate. We support this legislation and believe that it will result in more consumer choice and lower overall prices of health insurance in Maine.

12/16/2010 Governor’s Office of Health Policy and Finance officials met representatives of 44 other states and numerous employees of the federal Health and Human Services Department in Washington DC this week for a two-day working meeting to discuss the next steps in establish a government-run health insurance exchange under the American Health Benefit Exchange Model Act. Their attendance at this meeting was paid for by a $1 million federal grant awarded by HHS in September to the state for research how to set up an insurance exchange. Two states (Alaska and Minnesota) declined to participate, saying that it was a waste of taxpayer money. Four other states (not identified in press reports) that received federal grants did not send representatives to the meeting. Attendees included representatives of 16 states that are suing the federal government in an attempt to overturn the federal health reform law; specifically the requirement that forces individuals to buy health insurance on the insurance exchange or pay a hefty tax fine.

In its initial federal grant request for the insurance exchange project the Office of Health Policy and Finance said that it would: 1) Continue and complement the current efforts of the Health Reform Steering Committee, comprised of key State officials, and the Advisory Council on Health Systems Development (ACHSD) to provide oversight and stakeholder input on issues related to implementation of the Affordable Care Act, 2) Support the development of a detailed implementation plan for the Exchange, 3) Create a stakeholder process to answer policy and implementation questions in the areas of program integration, business operations, and technical infrastructure, and 4) Evaluate and model various options for Maine’s Exchange and develop implementation plan.

The meeting reportedly did not address the role of the commercial health insurance exchanges on the implementation of new competing government systems. The model act does not address inter-state insurance exchange proposals nor insurance sales across state lines. Federal officials admitted that they may not be able to provide further guidance until 2012. Meanwhile, most states are motivated to continue to meet requirements to obtain additional funding promised by the federal government for the establishment of insurance exchange by 2014. Freedom Benefits has previously voiced the opinion that the huge amount of money being spent to set up alternate insurance sales system technologies could be better used providing health benefits to the public. We proposed on the Universal Health Insurance blog that adequate commercial insurance sales systems are already in place that could be modified in a public/private partnership to make health insurance more affordable.

5/14/2010 Diabetes Coverage: A new resource to help find health insurance for diabetics in Maine is now available at Freedom Benefits.

4/20/2010 The state legislature passed additional mandates that now require current insurance plans to provide coverage for prosthetics containing a microprocessor, children's early intervention services, autism spectrum disorders, and prohibit overall coverage limits on policies. The cost of the mandates is not immediately known but we estimate this will raise the cost of all policies by 3% to 4% per year based on historical patterns and data previously published by Freedom Benefits. Supplemental insurance and limited benefit policies like those listed above in the "Most Affordable" section are generally not affected by the new state mandates. This is one reason for the lower premium rates for these commercial insurance plans. The state legislature was unable to pass the proposed Maine Health Care Plan to provide more affordable basic coverage so a "Short Term Medical Insurance" or a limited benefit plan may provide the best temporary coverage for Maine residents.

4/7/2010 Some Maine consumers benefited briefly by legislation drafted with a loophole that allowed them to drop private insurance and join the taxpayer-paid Dirigo health plan. The plan was intended to provide coverage for the uninsured. Instead, the uninsured ignored it but residents raced to drop their private health insurance to obtain the taxpayer-paid health plan. Now the party is over; Maine acknowledges that virtually all of the $155 million spent on the Dirigo plan since 2005 failed to provide the intended results. The majority of those covered by Dirigo will be dropped and pushed back to the commercial insurance market resulting in at least a temporary rise in the number of uninsured Maine residents.



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This Web site is independently owned and operated by Tony Novak operating under the trademarks "Freedom Benefits", "OnlineAdviser" and "OnlineNavigator". Opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the author and do not represent the opinion of any other person, company or entity mentioned. Tony Novak is not an agent, broker, producer or navigator for any federal or state health insurance exchange but may provide uncompensated advice, reviews and referrals to these resources. Novak is compensated as an accountant, adviser, affiliate consultant, marketer, reviewer, endorser, producer, lead generator or referrer to some of the other commercial companies listed on this site. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.