Closing the Gap

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Efforts to Accept Federal Funds to Expand MaineCare Continue!

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) set aside federal dollars for Maine to provide Medicaid coverage (called MaineCare in Maine) to about 69,500 uninsured people living in our state.  Adults with income up to 138% of the federal poverty level (FPL ) - $16,105/year for one person; $27,311/year for a family of three - could be covered.

The legislature passed three different MaineCare expansion bills this year.  Each bill was passed with support from all political parties.  Sadly, each bill was vetoed by the Governor.  The legislature fell short by just a few votes to override each of the Governor’s vetoes.

Many working adults with income below 138% of the FPL can’t afford health insurance.  They have little or no extra income to pay the out-of-pocket expenses that people in the new health care marketplace have to pay, even with the  help of subsidies.  People with gross income below the poverty level ($11,670 for one person, $19,790 for a family of three) fall into the “coverage gap” and are not eligible for any help from the new Marketplace.

Some Benefits of Expanding MaineCare

  • 69,500 Maine people with low income would be insured, including about 3,000 veterans and 1,000 of their family members
  • 3,100 to 3,400 jobs would be created throughout Maine
  • $256 million in additional federal dollars would come to Maine in each of the next two years
  • $500 million in additional economic activity in each year
  • Hospitals and health centers will see an increase in revenues and a reduction in the number of uninsured people seeking care

By accepting the federal funds, Maine can close the “coverage gap” and insure nearly 69,500 low income people in Maine.  Visit www.covermainenow.org to learn more about why accepting the federal funds is a good deal for Maine.  You can also share your health care story on this website.  Sharing your story about being uninsured is an important step you can take to help close the gap. 

Call Ann Woloson at 1-800-626-7059, Ext. 210 if you would like to be involved in the effort to expand MaineCare.


Maine People Speak Out in Support of Medicaid Expansion

I’ve served in the U.S. Air Force for 23 years, paid my taxes and performed the hardest job of all – taking care of an elderly parent with Alzheimer’s. Now I’m in a position of needing help… Without insurance I and others like me are living in fear of not being able to get care that will allow us to be healthy and move forward.  

Margaret, Portland

I wish I could afford health insurance.  Even with a subsidy in the Marketplace, I can’t do it on my income as a baker. Access to health care would give me some real security.  It would allow me to keep doing what needs to be done– caring for my family, going to work and volunteering in my community.  

Christian, Bangor

(July 2014-MAIN Update)

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