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Old 09-18-2011, 09:10 PM
 
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Hi everyone! I'm considering relocating to Maine, but I'm confused by the current health insurance situation. I know insurance used to be very expensive for self-employed individuals, but is this still the case? Anyone have firsthand experience or specific information about how Maine's new health insurance laws might affect a relatively young (39), healthy woman who would like to work as a freelancer in Maine?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Insurance for the self employed will be extremely high anywhere you live, and it's certainly not going to change. One way to get around that is by joining a group plan. Depending on what industry you work in, there may be a group of freelancers in Maine that have joined together to get a group discount on insurance. Find a group, if possible, call one of their managing members and ask if they have a group plan available for members. Some employers also allow family members to be added to their group plans. I have Anthem BCBS and they allow me to add siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. to the group plan. Ask a relative if their insurance offers this option.

There is a lot of bickering about plan rates going up-or not-in Maine since changes were made, but what's happening will depend on how large of a group plan you're in and individual circumstances. In CT my group plan rate has jumped significantly every year for the past 3 years without any law being changed in my state. There isn't necessarily a correlation between rate hikes and the new state law; federal law may or may not be the cause. Price compare and get direct quotes from providers depending on what group plan you may join, then make the decision about whether the cost of healthcare works for you in Maine. Otherwise you may just be listening to rhetoric that doesn't pertain to you.
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:47 PM
 
1,061 posts, read 1,697,938 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by editrice View Post
Hi everyone! I'm considering relocating to Maine, but I'm confused by the current health insurance situation. I know insurance used to be very expensive for self-employed individuals, but is this still the case? Anyone have firsthand experience or specific information about how Maine's new health insurance laws might affect a relatively young (39), healthy woman who would like to work as a freelancer in Maine?

Thanks for your help!
I'm in your situation (although older).

I did some preliminary investigation, and if the info I got is correct, I'd be paying about half what I'm paying now (currently paying $1300/month for just me) for full medical insurance--even less if I were to chose a high deductable (which I would indeed choose).

So whether you'll view health insurance in Maine as high or low, might depend on what you're used to paying for it in the state you're now in.

Last edited by OutDoorNut; 09-19-2011 at 03:55 PM..
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Northern Maine
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OutdoorNut is on the right track. Our legislature has opened up the insurance business to competition just like the auto insurance business. This happened this year. Freedom and liberty are wonderful things. As the sign says when you come into Maine, "Maine is open for business."
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Eastport, Maine
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New law didn't do a thing for me, still ridiculous rates, and poor coverage for an individual. Look to pay at least $800 per month for coverage, and as earlier stated, high deductibles, and large amounts of out of pocket cash. To get it even that cheap, I had to sign a waiver stating I knew the coverage was less than the minimum suggested by the state of Maine. On a good note, Maine has very inexpensive auto and homeowners insurance.

My advice, get a catastrophic policy and put about $500 a month in the bank to cover your part of a procedure/hospitalization or find a job with coverage. That is not easy in Maine.
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:55 PM
 
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Thank you for this very helpful info! I'm looking for something like a high deductible plan combined with a health savings account, if that's possible in Maine; full coverage does seem to be insanely expensive just about everywhere. The group plan idea is definitely a good one; I will try the Chamber of Commerce to start with, since I was able to confirm that they do have plans for self-employed individuals. Getting an actual quote from one of their people will help me a lot with my research.

Thanks again, everyone!
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:04 PM
 
7 posts, read 11,386 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maine4.us View Post
New law didn't do a thing for me, still ridiculous rates, and poor coverage for an individual. Look to pay at least $800 per month for coverage, and as earlier stated, high deductibles, and large amounts of out of pocket cash. To get it even that cheap, I had to sign a waiver stating I knew the coverage was less than the minimum suggested by the state of Maine. On a good note, Maine has very inexpensive auto and homeowners insurance.

My advice, get a catastrophic policy and put about $500 a month in the bank to cover your part of a procedure/hospitalization or find a job with coverage. That is not easy in Maine.
maine4.us, is that $800 per month for a catastrophic policy? That does seem very high; I wonder how much a group plan of some kind (for self-employed folks) would affect that number. Thanks for your input!
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:03 PM
 
1,061 posts, read 1,697,938 times
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Originally Posted by maine4.us View Post
New law didn't do a thing for me, still ridiculous rates, and poor coverage for an individual. Look to pay at least $800 per month for coverage
$800 seems high from what I remember when I spoke with Blue Cross in Maine a year or two ago. I'm pretty sure to cover just me it would have cost something like around $400 or $500 a month, providing I elected the highest deductable (which I believe was something like $5,000 or $10,000).
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:57 PM
 
Location: On a Slow-Sinking Granite Rock Up North
3,637 posts, read 5,271,216 times
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Buying Health Insurance: Brochures : Bureau of Insurance

Good luck.
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Old 09-21-2011, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Bar Harbor, ME
1,922 posts, read 3,671,724 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OutDoorNut View Post
$800 seems high from what I remember when I spoke with Blue Cross in Maine a year or two ago. I'm pretty sure to cover just me it would have cost something like around $400 or $500 a month, providing I elected the highest deductable (which I believe was something like $5,000 or $10,000).
This is why you need to find a group to be part of. I'm still covered by my school district even though I'm retired, but I do have to pay them for it. Currently to participate in their HMO with only about $30 deductible on most things is about $500 per month. If I wanted the HMO through the PA School Employees Retirement System, it would be about $650 a month. God only know how much it would be on the open markert but probably more than $1200 for an HMO with low deducible.
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