Since 1992, Maine’s votes in presidential elections have gone to Democratic candidates. Nonetheless, the state was among the states that challenged the Affordable Care Act and chose not to expand Medicaid.
Enrollment through the Years
Like most states, Maine uses the federal marketplace in lieu of a state-based exchange. Maine’s enrollment in marketplace health plans has increased over the last three years. However, 2017 enrollment is lower than it was in 2016, which is when Maine saw its highest enrollment numbers. Political uncertainty surrounding the presidential election of 2016 may have influenced the decrease in enrollment numbers.
- 74,805 Mainers enrolled in 2015
- 84,059 Mainers enrolled in 2016
- 79,407 Mainers enrolled in 2017
In 2017, there were 18,185 Maine residents who signed up for a marketplace plan for the first time. The remaining 61,222 Mainers who participated in the 2017 marketplace were return customers. Maine participants in marketplace plans are generally older. Many of those enrolled in a healthcare plan from the ACA marketplace fall into the 55-64 age bracket.
Maine chose not to expand their Medicaid program, known as MaineCare, according to ACA guidelines. This may change in the future because a referendum to expand the program will be on the ballot in November 2017.
Marketplace plans provide cost assistance in the form of federal subsidies to those who earn between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty limit. Of Maine exchange customers, 86 percent received such assistance in 2017.
Those who earn up to 250 percent of the federal poverty limit can also qualify for cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) – which reduce out-of-pocket medical costs for the year – when they enroll in a silver-level marketplace plan. About 53 percent of Maine enrollees took advantage of CSRs in 2017.
Carrier Participation & Plan Availability
Three health insurance providers offered plans on the Maine exchange in 2017, and there will be three providers in 2018 as well. Across the state, there were a total 424 marketplace plans offered in Maine in 2017. However, as plans and providers vary among counties, this does not mean that each Maine resident had over 400 plan options to choose from this year.