Hilary Schneider to assume leadership as CoverME.gov open enrollment approaches on Nov. 1, 2023
AUGUSTA— The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced today that Hilary Schneider will be the next Director of the Office of the Health Insurance Marketplace (OHIM), starting September 25, 2023. Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew selected Schneider to lead the Office, which runs Maine’s health insurance marketplace CoverME.gov, following a national search, based on her health policy expertise, leadership skills, and knowledge of how to connect Maine residents with affordable health care.
“With her experience and commitment to health care in Maine, Hilary Schneider will move CoverME.gov, the State’s Health Insurance Marketplace, from a start-up to an institution in Maine,” said DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew. “She has long-established relationships with consumer groups, health providers, and insurance carriers alongside marketing skills to raise awareness of affordable, quality health insurance through CoverME.gov.”
“I’m honored to be selected by Commissioner Lambrew to serve in this position and eager to join a talented team,” said Hilary Schneider. “The Office of the Health Insurance Marketplace plays a critical role through CoverME.gov in ensuring access to affordable, quality health coverage for Maine people. I have spent nearly 20 years working in Maine with policymakers and partners to improve health coverage options for Maine people and look forward to building on Maine’s success with the Department.”
Schneider is currently Government Relations Director for Maine and supervises a team that covers three other New England states with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, where she has worked since 2010. She previously worked at Consumers for Affordable Health Care and Health Dialog, a Portland-based health care management and analytics company. Schneider has a master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Bates College.
DHHS established OHIM in 2021 to transition Maine from the Federal health insurance marketplace, HealthCare.gov, to a fully state-run marketplace. OHIM launched and runs the state marketplace, CoverME.gov, where Maine people can compare private plans, apply for financial assistance, and enroll in a health plan. As of January 2023, 63,388 Maine residents were enrolled private plans through CoverME.gov.
Thanks to CoverME.gov and the Medicaid (MaineCare) expansion under Governor Janet Mills, Maine’s uninsured rate has dropped significantly. Last September, data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed that Maine experienced the largest reduction in its uninsured rate between 2019 and 2021 of any state.
The next open enrollment period for plans through CoverME.gov begins on Nov. 1, 2023, and ends on January 16, 2024. Health plans offered on CoverME.gov provide quality, comprehensive insurance that protects consumers if they have an accident or major illness and fully pays for preventive screenings for diseases such as cancer and diabetes. This year, more Maine people than ever can get financial help to afford their plans.
After open enrollment, Maine people can enroll in 2024 coverage only if they experience a life event that qualifies them for a Special Enrollment Period – like losing insurance through a job or MaineCare, a change in marital status, or having a baby.
As in previous years, those who already have a Marketplace plan will be automatically re-enrolled in their current plan or the most similar offering from their health insurance carrier. Consumers will receive information about the re-enrollment process directly from CoverME.gov in October.
OHIM Acting Director Radhika Bhog will become Senior Advisor to Schneider, continuing her contributions to health coverage in Maine by supporting Marketplace operations, developing new initiatives, and strengthening collaboration with partners.