Need health insurance? Call 1-800-965-7476

The Affordable Care Act requires everyone to have health insurance beginning Jan. 1. Mainers can enroll in subsidized plans offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Call 1-800-965-7476 if you need health insurance or have problems with the coverage you have now. A health-care navigator will help you identify, apply for, enroll in or understand the new health insurance options. 

The ACA's benefit to consumers is vast. It requires most insurance plans to provide coverage without cost sharing to enrollees for many preventive health services, including colonoscopy screenings for colon cancer, Pap smears and mammograms for women and flu shots for all children and adults. It also makes proven preventive services free for most people on Medicare.

Individuals who don't have insurance coverage by Jan. 1 may have to pay a penalty (fee) at tax time - beginning at $95 or 1% of income, whichever is greater. The penalty fee will increase as the years go by to induce people to get health coverage. Sliding-scale subsidies are available for individuals earning between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level ($11,490 to $45,900 for an individual; $19,530 to $78,120 for a family of three). You can use the subsidy calculator to see where you stand.

The best way for Mainers to learn their coverage options is by calling a health-insurance navigator at 1-800-965-7476.

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