Maine residents may lack access to guidance
Guidance concerning health insurance has been difficult for some to attain in Maine since the launch of the state’s insurance exchange in October. Nearly a dozen of the state’s largest communities are located more than 15 miles from navigators that can provide assistance to those interested in applying for coverage through the exchange system. While many consumers can access navigators via phone, navigators themselves have proven to be quite busy and it can be somewhat difficult to get in touch with a counselor for aid.
Only 100 navigators working in Maine
In order to address this issue, Maine insurance officials have begun touring the state, offering more insight to communities that may not have convenient access to information. Officials note that the state is both large and rural and boasts of only 100 navigators working with the state’s exchange. Limited resources and unreliable access to these navigators have left many consumers unsure as to how to pursue health insurance coverage. Indeed, many are still unaware that they could be eligible for subsidies from the federal government that can make their coverage more affordable.
Officials seek to provide information to consumers
State officials and health care advocates are travelling through large communities in order to share information with consumers in a more adequate fashion. This tour is expected to help many people understand how the state’s exchange works and how to get in touch with navigators more effectively. Notably, many people is some of the more rural parts of Maine believe that the only way to get in touch with a navigator is in person, but these people also have access to a 24-hour hotline that can connect them with a navigator as well.
Many people remain unaware of exchange services and subsidies from the federal government
Health insurance remains a complicated issue for many people. Awareness concerning the provisions of the Affordable Care Act and how they affect insurance coverage is still quite low. Maine officials are continuing to work on raising awareness among consumers so that they can take advantage of the state’s exchange and the assistance that the federal government is offering.