The Coastal Packet: Co-op leads the way in Maine's health care insurance

Wednesday, February 25

Co-op leads the way in Maine's health care insurance

Sun Journal, ME - Over 66,000 Mainers have signed up for health insurance with Maine Community Health Options, an increase of 65 percent for the state's only health insurance co-op.

Of those people, 57,600 got insurance through the federal marketplace established by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. That means for the second year in a row, MCHO will insure the majority of Mainers on the marketplace.

There are 23 [health insurance] co-ops throughout the country. Rating company A.M. Best has said that, as of last fall, Lewiston-based MCHO is the only one making money.

As of Feb. 18, nearly 75,000 Mainers had signed up for insurance through the marketplace, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. About 57,600 of those Mainers chose one of MCHO's insurance plans, according to preliminary numbers released by the co-op Tuesday. However, MCHO's figures include only people who have paid their first bill.

With several days left for consumers to pay for March 1 coverage, he expects that MCHO will ultimately be responsible for about 80 percent of the marketplace.

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