A part of the group that decided to rely on federal government for implementation of health insurance marketplace, Maine is working round the clock to ensure that its residents do not face any trouble when the exchanges go live on October 1. However on October 1, will the public sign on? Many studies have shown that the majority of Americans are not aware of the exchanges and do not have a clear idea about purchasing health insurance online after October 1.
Maine marketplace authorities understand this problem, and that’s the reason why they are gathering their resources to meet an important target: guide Maine residents and help them purchase health insurance on the marketplace. As a part of a federal strategy to assist state governments in meeting this target as well as marketing the health insurance exchange, Maine has received two separate federal grants amounting to $542,000. These federal grants will be used for one purpose: marketing the exchange and educating residents about insurance shopping in the new era through exchange navigators.
The grants are for two separate aims, as demonstrated below.
• The larger grant was given to Western Maine Community Action to establish eight information offices throughout the state. These offices will be pivotal in guiding and helping people as they enroll with the health insurance marketplace. The organization will hire 40 staff members and 48 volunteers to work for the planned offices.
• The second grant was given to the Fishing Partnership Health Plan, a Massachusetts-based organization that will combine efforts with Maine Lobstermen’s Association to assist fishermen to procure health insurance on the exchange.
Other than the grants and steps to help people navigate through the new insurance buying setup, the there will also be a 24-hour call center available once the exchange goes live on October 1. As states target their respective population, especially the highly critical demographics, such as the fishermen in Maine, the path to successful implementation of health insurance marketplaces should be rid of obstacles.