66,000 Mainers enroll in first year of state health insurance marketplace

·2 min read

Jan. 19—More than 66,000 Mainers have enrolled in the state's new health insurance marketplace, an increase of more than 10 percent from the previous year when a federal health care program was in use, the Mills administration announced Tuesday.

The state in a news release said that 66,095 people selected plans for affordable health insurance at CoverME.gov. Open enrollment, which began on Nov. 1 ended Jan. 15.

More than 80 percent of Mainers enrolled in 2022 health care plans through CoverME.gov are receiving financial assistance in the form of advanced premium tax credits, with the average monthly cost of $179.

"I am proud that Maine's new state-based marketplace has helped contribute to a 10 percent increase in consumers choosing plans," Gov. Janet Mills said in a statement. 'This great news is further proof that running our own marketplace leads to affordable, high-quality coverage for more Maine people. At a time when health insurance is more important than ever before, I am so glad that CoverME.gov was able to put Maine in the driver's seat and give Maine people more control over their health insurance options."

CoverME.gov enables a state resident to buy Affordable Care Act insurance for 2022 through a new state website rather than the federal government's healthcare.gov website, where Maine people have bought so-called Obamacare insurance since 2014. A total of 15 states, including all of New England except New Hampshire, have been using state-based marketplaces rather than the federal version.

"We've known for a while that creating a health coverage portal tailored to Maine's needs would be crucial in getting more people signed up. The numbers we've seen clearly show that effort to create a state-based system has paid off," said Sen. Heather Sanborn, D-Portland, who serves as chair of the Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services Committee.