PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Now that the health insurance marketplace is up and running in Maine, the push is on to make sure that people who want to sign up for insurance in that marketplace know where to go.
At a news conference in Portland, advocates for the Affordable Care Act acknowledged there's a lot of confusion about the changes that went into effect. The non-profit Maine Health Access Foundation is making it its mission to do an advertising blitz through broadcast, internet and print to raise awareness. Many other states, which set up their own health care marketplaces, included an advertising budget. But Maine let the federal government do it, and that meant no money to get the word out.
Wendy Wolf, of the Maine Health Access Foundation said, "I think the message going out to Maine people is, 'Are we in this or not?' And so first of all, we need to let people know: Yes, we have a marketplace."
If you currently have insurance through your employer, Medicare, or MaineCare, you do not have to change your coverage. But if you want to explore your options in the marketplace, you can sign up at healthcare.gov. There's also a toll-free number you can call: 1-800-318-2596. And to find out where you can get free, one on one help, visit enroll207.com. If you sign up by December 15, your coverage will begin January 1, 2014. Most people who do not have health insurance by March 31, 2014 will have to pay a penalty, $95 for an individual or 1% of family income, whichever is more.