MaineCare (Medicaid) Update: January 18, 2019
Our work on implementing the MaineCare expansion continues. Today, we signed emergency rules to conform the existing Medicaid policy to the expansion. This is two weeks ahead of the Court deadline.
At a meeting last week, we heard from organizations such as the Maine Hospital and Maine Medical Associations, Consumers for Affordable Healthcare, and the Alliance for Addiction and Mental Health Services. This broad group offered a number of good suggestions on how to make use of existing networks to communicate changes and connect people with coverage.
We have also started to simplify the process for people to sign up for MaineCare. One simplification will be to automatically enroll people already in the system that are eligible for coverage under the expansion. Doing so prevents them from having to reapply, which is time consuming for them and for eligibility workers. We will start doing so next week.
Streamlining our process that way will be especially important next week, the third and last week of training for our eligibility workers on system improvements. This necessary training has taken some workers away from responding to consumers and processing applications. Meanwhile, those eligibility workers not in training have had extra work due to the government shutdown: Like other states, we issued February Food Supplement benefits through the Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program early to access funds that will not be available next week. We appreciate patience as we get through next week.
Between January 1 and 17, 1,599 individuals have been granted expansion-related coverage. Almost as many applications were received. We expect these numbers to increase significantly by the end of January.
Expect more on implementation from us soon - and thanks for reading.
Participating Organizations at the MaineCare Expansion Roundtable
- Alliance for Addiction and Mental Health Services
- American Cancer Society, Maine
- American Heart Association, Maine
- Behavioral Health Collaborative
- Community Concepts
- Community Health Options
- Consumers for Affordable Health Care
- Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
- Kids Peace
- Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
- Maine Association of Substance Abuse Programs
- Maine Center for Economic Policy
- Maine Children's Alliance
- Maine Equal Justice Partners
- Maine Hospital Association
- Maine Medical Association
- Maine People's Alliance
- Maine Primary Care Association
- Midcoast Community Action Program
- Opportunity Alliance
- Preble Street
- Shalom House
- York County Community Action
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