AUGUSTA — The Maine Health Access Foundation recently announced that it has awarded $344,000 to 12 organizations from around the state to provide people with the help they need to enroll in health plans offered through Maine’s Health Insurance Marketplace, according to a MEHAF news release.

These 12 statewide and community-based nonprofits, which includes Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County in Farmington, will provide free, local enrollment assistance in communities during the Marketplace open enrollment period from Nov. 1, 2016 through Jan. 31.

For the last three years, MeHAF has also led the statewide campaign to promote awareness about the affordable health insurance options available on Maine’s Marketplace, which is offered through the federal website. The statewide campaign paired with coordinated enrollment assistance resulted in more than 84,000 Mainers enrolling or re-enrolling in health plans in 2016.

Tens of thousands of people in Maine have worked with enrollment experts in their local communities to find plans that work best for their families and for their budgets, according to the release.

“Enrolling in the right health insurance plan is complicated, and people appreciate the confidential, free, one-on-one support that local assisters and navigators provide in communities across the state,” MeHAF President and CEO, Dr. Wendy Wolf said in the release. “Because plan benefits and costs change every year, it’s important for Mainers to review all the Marketplace health plan options during open enrollment so they can get the best coverage at the most reasonable cost.”

Local enrollment assisters can be found in locations all over the state, including hospitals, health centers, and local Community Action Programs. Mainer’s can find free assistance in their communities using the zip code locator tool at Business owners and employers can also find Marketplace certified insurance brokers to help with their insurance needs using the locator tool.

Morgan Hynd, the MeHAF Program Officer overseeing the foundation’s Marketplace enrollment work said in the release, “Maine has led the nation in enrollment every year for the last three years because of the dedication and expertise of enrollment assisters in communities all across the state. Our assisters will be ready on Nov. 1 to help families enroll in Caribou, Biddeford, Machias and all communities in between.”

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