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
According 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
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