Vital Signs: Top health stories this week

It comes as no surprise that Maine’s poorest and uninsured residents struggle to afford health services. But a new statewide survey, designed to track the impact of the Affordable Care Act here, also finds Mainers with insurance coverage earning middle-class incomes run into trouble paying medical bills.

Survey: Mainers struggle to pay medical bills — even those with insurance

Other top health stories:

Patrick Dempsey’s mother dies after battle with cancer

Amanda Dempsey, who inspired her actor son to create Lewiston’s Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing, died at age 79 of ovarian cancer.

In northern Maine, collaboration brings better health

Many of the nation’s healthiest communities are wealthy and have large numbers of college-educated residents. But northern Maine is among a handful of telling exceptions, making it an important guidepost as the country searches for ways to improve health, the Los Angeles Times reports.

From our bloggers:

Sarah Devlin, On The Plus Side

Introducing On The Plus Side

Throughout my teens and 20s, I was thin. Now I rip the tag out of my jeans so nobody can confirm I’m an overly nourished size 14.

Linda Riddell, Health Unsurance

Obamacare: Act now before open enrollment ends

Make sure that you at least try to enroll before the March 31 deadline. Once open enrollment is over, you will have to wait until next year to get a plan.

From the source:

A new state-by-state survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that 23,000 Mainers who signed up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act qualified for $93 million in tax credits to help them pay for their coverage. That works out to an average subsidy of $4,070 each.

Jackie Farwell

About Jackie Farwell

I'm the health editor for the Bangor Daily News, a Bangor native, a UMaine grad, and a weekend crossword warrior. I never get sick of writing about Maine people, geeking out over health care data, and finding new ways to help you stay well. I live in Gorham with my husband Nick and our hound dog Riley.