Experts feel the 127,000 Maine residents without health cover have no cause to panic as there will be options in the Federal health care overhaul.
50% of the residents are covered by the employer provided health covers, 42% have individual health policies or come under the Medicaid or Medicare programs.
AdvertisementAccording to nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation estimates, 10% of Main's population is uninsured and will be under the individual mandate covers.
The Federal government has two options to cover people who come under the individual mandate, either through an expanded Medicaid cover or subsidized private insurance.
Expansion of Medicaid coverage is still moot in Maine as the Legislature will first set its spending priorities for the next couple of years.Gov. Paul LePage is against the idea, though Democratic leaders feel expansion of Medicaid is a priority for people who 133% of the federal poverty level. They don't get any insurance cover but are not liable for penalties.
Mitchell Stein, of Consumers for Affordable Health Care, which advocates quality insurance for everyone, felt many of these citizens would not be eligible for subsidies and most likely would not have Health insurance.
According to federal law people with incomes 100 - 400% of the federal poverty level was eligible for subsidies based on their income. They would need to spend between 2 - 91/2% of their income on health cover.
Those who don't comply will have to pay penalty, though Stein feels not too many will come under that category.
Hannah Punitha (IRDA Licence Number: 2710062)
Glenn Adams, March 2013
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