Maine citizens looking to purchase health insurance on healthcare.gov now have more choices for their 2015 plans. We did a quick roundup of the 3 main players in the local health insurance field in Maine.
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. A veteran in the health insurance industry, Anthem has been around even before the launch of the Affordable Care Act website 3 years ago. In fact, it has registered over 18,000 Maine citizens as individual clients (i.e. customers who bought their own coverage instead of getting it through work benefits). Their enrolment rates is almost twice as high as their closest rival which is not surprising since they are getting corporate backing from WellPoint, one of the national health insurers with a big market share.
Almost 20% of the enrollees on the ACA site for 2014 plans were through Anthem. So this year, they seem to be prepared for a big comeback with their premium rates reduced by 1%.
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. A newcomer in the industry, the non-profit Harvard Pilgrim came to the market with 4 plans for 2015. Though relatively new, it’s already familiar with health reforms from its partnership with the now-defunct Dirigo Health (Maine’s effort to increase the number of citizens with health insurance).
Harver Health Insurance Counter Fraud Group noted that with 3 health insurers from which to choose from, Maine citizens are benefiting greatly in a growing competitive market, which is incidentally also a goal of the Obamacare.
Maine Community Health Options. This health insurer from Lewiston has around 80% share of Maine buyers in healthcare.gov’s website in the primary enrolment period. This startup was created after the ACA (Obamacare) which provides loans for those who want to create health insurance cooperatives. A number of “co-ops” have already registered enrolment rates that are below their targets but Maine Community Health Options seems to be operating as a great example especially in providing reasonable prices.
This year, the premium rate for their most-availed plan decreased by around 0.5%. Their other premium rates were increased albeit on the less popular plans.