On Behalf of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services:
Dear Broker Community,
I’m writing to share important information with you about CoverME.gov, Maine’s own Health Insurance Marketplace, launching on November 1, 2021, for the Open Enrollment Period for Plan Year 2022. CoverME.gov will serve as the new state website, application, and call center replacing HealthCare.gov as the place to go for Maine consumers to apply for and enroll in Marketplace coverage.
Please continue reading for important information about how this transition impacts brokers.
Background on the State Transition
The Made for Maine Health Coverage Act, which was passed by the Maine Legislature in 2020, authorized the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to establish a Health Insurance Marketplace. Operating as a State-run Marketplace will give Maine more flexibility to improve consumer experience, including providing a longer annual open enrollment period and developing more user-friendly tools for plan comparison. The transition will also allow Maine to enact state-specific policies to encourage enrollment, while more closely coordinating with MaineCare to ensure that individuals and families are enrolled in the coverage that works best for them. You can learn more about the transition by reading this recent blog post from Maine DHHS.
Brokers will continue to play an important role in helping consumers navigate the process of shopping for and enrolling in Marketplace health coverage. Providing consumers with this expertise and support will play a crucial role in the launch of CoverME.gov on November 1, and a successful Open Enrollment Period for Plan Year 2022.
CoverME.gov is working closely with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to migrate existing HealthCare.gov consumers, and ensure that anyone who has consented to reverification has their health insurance coverage renewed for 2022. As part of that process, broker books of business will also be migrated, and brokers with clients with active coverage through HealthCare.gov will not need to re-establish those relationships in the CoverME.gov platform.
In order to begin selling Marketplace plans as a certified Broker through CoverME.gov, you will have to complete the training and certification process. These requirements apply to brokers new to the Marketplace and those currently certified by HealthCare.gov.
To be certified to sell Marketplace plans through CoverME.gov, brokers must:
- Complete the online modules and pass a final exam (please see the table below for important dates regarding completion of the training and certification process);
- Have an active license with health authority through the Maine Bureau of Insurance; and
- Register on CoverME.gov and agree to the privacy and security protections requirements of the Marketplace.
Marketplace training for brokers is provided by CoverME.gov through an online Learning Management System (LMS). You are now able to access broker training here. Clicking on this link will allow you to register with your email address and NPN number to complete the broker training modules. Please ensure you provide complete and correct information when registering in the LMS, to avoid delays in certification. In order to fulfill the training requirements, you will need to complete all modules and pass a final exam with at least a score of 80% proficiency at the end of the course. Each module will contain practice exercises or ‘knowledge checks’ to help you prepare for the exam at the end of the course. These training modules will also include an overview of the broker registration process through CoverME.gov. Updates to modules may be made overnight, so it is strongly recommended that you complete any in-progress modules during a session, to ensure your progress is not lost.
To sell QHPs through CoverME.gov for Plan Year 2022, you are only required to complete this training – you are not required to complete training, or be certified, through HealthCare.gov. If you have business in other states, you must ensure you continue to meet any certification requirements of that state’s Marketplace.
The CoverME.gov broker registration portal will open on October 1, 2021. After that date, and once you have completed all broker training modules and passed the final exam, you will be able to register for certification through the CoverME.gov system. After you complete a registration form, staff from the Office of the Health Insurance Marketplace (OHIM), which operates CoverME.gov, will review your registration and check for compliance with training and licensure requirements before certifying you. Once OHIM staff have certified you, you will receive an email allowing you to create credentials and log in to the CoverME.gov platform. Please be aware that this review process between completing a registration form and being certified and provided access to the CoverME.gov platform can take 7-10 days.
Please be aware that brokers may only begin selling Marketplace plans after they have received their certification from the state.
September 1 - Training available through Maine’s Learning Management System.
October 1 - This is the first day that brokers will be able to register in the CoverME.gov system.
October 15 - This is the deadline for brokers to complete training and register in order to be guaranteed to be certified by November 1.
November 1 - Open Enrollment begins; consumers are able to log in to their CoverME.gov accounts.
November 30 - If you miss the October 15 deadline, you may register until November 30 and can expect your certification to be processed in 7-10 days. Registration will close at end of day November 30 and will not reopen until after Open Enrollment ends.
If you have questions or need assistance with the training and registration process, you are encouraged to contact the CoverME.gov Consumer Assistance Center at (866) 636-0355. We encourage you to contact the Consumer Assistance Center, as this will be the fastest way for us to assist you.
Questions regarding the training and registration process can also be emailed to SBMBrokers.firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have questions about the status of your license, you can utilize the Maine Bureau of Insurance (BOI) licensee lookup tool here.
Acting Director, Office of the Health Insurance Marketplace
Maine Department of Health and Human Services