Fishing Family at Dock


Health Care and Insurance

Health Care and Insurance

The idea behind the Affordable Care Act is to make health insurance fairer and more affordable. Fairer—because no one can be turned down for pre-existing medical conditions. More affordable—because more people can qualify for more financial assistance than ever. But navigating the system can be complicated, especially for commercial fishermen. Income is unpredictable and can fluctuate wildly from one month to the next—so it’s hard to estimate your annual earnings and how much you might be able to save on health insurance.

Contact one of our Fishing Partnership Navigators. She can help!
The health insurance system isn’t easy to understand, but it’s what our Fishing Partnership Navigators are trained for. We’re here to help you understand your choices and get the best health plan for your family.

Get and Renew Health Insurance

If you don’t have health insurance, or lost your coverage, or aren’t sure whether you qualify for financial help, you’re not alone. Give us a call—we can help you with this.

Which health plan is right for you?
There’s a lot to consider: What’s covered? What are the costs? Are the doctors and hospitals convenient for your family?

In Massachusetts: The health insurance marketplace (Health Connector) offers new choices in health plans and new ways to save.

  • More people will qualify for financial assistance than ever.
  • All plans have the state’s Seal of Approval and provide comprehensive benefits: doctor visits, hospitalization, maternity care, prescriptions, and emergency care.
  • We’ll help you understand the differences in coverage, costs (premiums, deductibles and co-pays), and provider networks.
  • We’ll help you figure out if you qualify for financial help. (If you’re single and make less than $46,000, or you’re a family of four and make less than $94,000, you may get help paying for health insurance.)

We’ll help you find the best plan for you and your family—and we’ll even help you through the application process. Once you are accepted, we can help you find a doctor who’s close to home. We can also help you find one who speaks your language.

As you may have heard, beginning in 2019, the federal requirement to have health insurance – called the individual mandate – will be eliminated. It’s important to understand, however, that the Massachusetts requirement to have coverage will still be in place. Our Fishing Partnership Navigators can work with you and your family to avoid tax penalties and continue to utilize coverage that meets the state standards. In addition, the Health Connecter has put together some helpful resources, including this overview, available on their website.

If you’re interested, the Connector also offers dental plans. And if you need help with MassHealth, Medicare, unemployment, and students’ plans, just ask.

In Maine:

hi res 1Patrice McCarron explains how Fishing Partnership helps MLA members with health insurance

If you work in the lobster industry in Maine, or any other fishery, we can help you there as well. Fishing Partnership is working with the MLA to offer the assistance of a local Navigator—April McNutt in Kennebunk, ME. She can explain how the Affordable Care Act affects your state’s health insurance choices and help you find a health plan that works for you and your family. You can contact April directly at 207-967-4555 or by email to [email protected].

“It cut the cost in half. It’s good coverage with no giant deductible. It’s there if we need it. I don’t think I would have had the patience to get through the application without April’s help. She deserves an award.”
– David Cousens, lobsterman

Think you can’t afford health insurance?
Please talk to us. Commercial fishing is the riskiest business in the country—a serious illness or injury could cost you your boat, your house, your whole way of life. We want every fishing family to have the coverage and financial security that affordable health insurance can provide. Call one of our Navigators—we understand what’s at stake and can help you find the health plan that’s right for you and your family.


Healthy Harbors

We know it can be hard for fishermen to get to the doctor for basic preventive care like flu and tetanus shots, vision and hearing tests, blood pressure checks, dental cleanings, skin cancer screenings, and information on how to stay healthy.

So we bring many of these services right to the harbor. Fishing Partnership Support Services offers free health events for fishing families throughout the year—and you don’t need to have health insurance to participate. Check back often to see what’s new on our event calendar.


Sign Up Now

If you’re one of the 11,000 people who work in our local commercial fishing industry, at sea or on shore, you and your family are entitled to all the benefits and free services we offer.

Membership Form