What You Need to Know
If you’re a college student in Maine, it’s essential that you invest in health insurance, even if you’re young and in good health.
You may be eligible for a subsidy if you purchase a plan through the Affordable Care Act.
Medicaid or CHIP plans may be an option if you meet income guidelines.
What Are Health Insurance Options for Maine Students?
If you’re a college student in Maine, a health insurance plan should be on your radar. Even if you are young and healthy, having healthcare coverage is important for your health and your finances. The good news is there are many health insurance options for you in Maine.
Why Do Maine Students Need Health Insurance?
Health insurance is mandatory at most schools in Maine. Having health insurance helps ensure that you can get medical care if you need it. And it may save you thousands of dollars in medical bills.
What to Consider When Searching for Student Health Coverage in Maine?
There are several questions to ask yourself before you look for student health insurance in Maine including:
- Will You Attend School In-State or Out of State? If you’re attending school in Maine as an out-of-state student, your parent’s health insurance plan may not cover the hospitals and doctors near campus.
- Can Someone Claim You as a Dependent? In the event someone claims you as a dependent on their tax return, you’re considered part of their household. If you apply for an Affordable Care Act (ACA) plan or a free or low-cost government plan, this will affect how you answer questions on household income and size.
- Will You Stay on Your Parents’ Plan or Enroll in Your Own Plan? According to the ACA, you can remain on your parent’s plan until you turn 26. If you attend college in Maine as an out-of-state student, the network of providers in your parent’s plan may not include the doctors and hospitals near school.
- Which Plans Are Cheaper? Cost is likely a significant factor when choosing a health plan. In addition to the monthly premium, consider the plan’s deductible, coinsurance, and copayments. All of these factors impact the overall cost of health insurance coverage.
- Which Plans Offer Better Coverage? Choose a plan and carrier that pays for the medical services and medications you usually use. Also, make sure that it covers the doctors and hospitals near you.
- What If You Skip Health Insurance? Since health insurance is mandatory at most universities and many colleges in Maine, going without coverage may not be an option. Even if it’s not required at your school, you risk putting your health and finances at risk if you don’t have a health policy.
How Do You Get Covered Under Your Parents’ Plan in Maine?
You may stay on your parent’s health insurance until you turn 26. If you do so, make sure it offers the coverage you need. If you’re over 26, you’ll have to get your own health insurance plan.
If you stay on your parent’s plan, be sure that there are hospitals and doctors you can go to near school.
How Do You Get Covered Under Your School Plan in Maine?
Having health insurance is mandatory for all undergraduates in the University of Maine System taking nine credit hours or more, and graduate students enrolled in 6 credit hours.1 Eligible students are automatically enrolled in its student health insurance plan and billed an annual charge of $2,264 in the fall semester. Students with adequate health insurance can complete an online waiver process to opt out.
Health insurance is also required at many private colleges in Maine, such as Colby College. It offers a school-sponsored plan through Wellfleet, which costs $1,960 annually.2
Check your school’s website for health insurance requirements and enrollment options if it offers a school-sponsored plan. Before you move forward with a SHIP, check to make sure it offers the ACA’s essential health benefits.
Consider All Costs
The costs associated with health insurance include more than the monthly premium.
How Do You Get Covered through the Affordable Care Act in Maine
You can choose from various health insurance options through MaineHealth3, the state-run exchange in Maine. In 2020, they ranged in price from $348 to $494.4 Depending on your income, you may be eligible for a federal subsidy. Use this calculator to figure out if you are eligible for a subsidy.
- Apply with your parents. If you’re under 26 and your parents need health insurance in Maine too, you can apply with them.
- Apply by yourself. If you’re over 26 or attending college out of state, you will apply on your own.
If your parents claim you as a dependent on their tax return, you’ll need to include both their income and yours on your application. If they don’t, you’ll only include your income.
How Do You Get Covered through Medicaid or CHIP in Maine?
- Medicaid: Medicaid provides healthcare coverage to millions of Americans with limited income. If your parents don’t claim you as a dependent on their tax return and you pay for your own health insurance, this federally funded, state run program may be an option for you. You can visit MainCare, Maine’s Medicaid website for more information. 5
- CHIP: The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is known as Cub Care in Maine. It offers health coverage to uninsured children who are age 19 and under who fall within certain income guidelines. You may want to explore Cub Care if you’re ineligible for Medicaid.6
Other Options for Coverage in Maine
- Catastrophic health plan: These plans have low premiums and high deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses. You must be under 30 to purchase a catastrophic health plan, though you can apply for a hardship exemption if you’re over 30.
- Short-term health insurance: These temporary plans designed to handle gaps in coverage. Short-term health insurance plans are not required to offer preventive care and other benefits that ACA plans do. There are currently no insurance companies offering short-term plans in Maine.
Resources for Maine Students
These resources to help you find the right student health insurance plan in Maine:
If you’re a Maine college student, you should know about the health insurance options available to you. A health insurance plan can protect your finances during an illness or injury. Look into all your options so you can make the best choice for your specific needs and budget.