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What to do now that Anthem is leaving Maine Obamacare market

Anthem announces exit from Maine ACA Marketplace (WGME)

STATEWIDE (WGME) -- The head of the Maine Bureau of Insurance says his message for Mainers is urgent.

Superintendent Eric Cioppa said now that Anthem is leaving Maine's health insurance exchange in 2018, it's more important than ever to compare health insurance plans during open enrollment.

About 80,000 Mainers have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

More than a third have their plans with Anthem.

On Wednesday Anthem said due to volatility with the Affordable Care Act, it would no longer sell new ACA policies in Maine.

"Planning and pricing for ACA-compliant health plans has become increasingly difficult due to a shrinking and deteriorating individual market, as well as continual changes and uncertainty in federal operations, rules and guidance," said Anthem spokesman Colin Manning.

Anthem's exit leaves just two insurers in the ACA Marketplace -- Community Health Options and Harvard Pilgrim.

"As most people are well aware, there has been quite a bit of turmoil in the insurance market this year. This has resulted in higher rates, and also in fewer choices," said Maine Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa in a statement.

Cioppa said it's important to look carefully at all costs involved in the plan you choose:

  1. the premium payment (including any premium subsidy they may receive to help cover the cost)
  2. the deductible amount that will have to be paid before the insurance company begins to pay
  3. the co-insurance amount that they will need to pay after the deductible is met
  4. any co-payments to see primary care providers or specialist, as well as for medications

If you have a Marketplace plan with Anthem, you'll need to select a new one with Community Health Options or Harvard Pilgrim. Current customers can also purchase an off-Marketplace plan with Anthem, without premium subsidies from the federal government.

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