Proposed Rulemaking

MaineCare Rule #298P - COVID-19 Testing for Uninsured Individuals Rule - Track Changes Rule - Clean  | MAPA3
Concise Summary: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) H.R. 6201, 116 Cong. (2019-2020), P.L. No. 116-127 (3/18/2020), 134 Stat. 178 et seq. specified in Division F, Section 6004 (a) (3) that State Medicaid programs were authorized to create an optional coverage group to ensure that services related to testing and diagnosis of COVID-19 are available in response to the pandemic, pursuant to Section 1902(a)(10)(A)(ii)(XXIII) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 1396a(a)(10) as amended. This is a limited coverage benefit that is effective no earlier than March 18, 2020 and ends on the last day of the month in which the federal public health emergency ends, unless otherwise directed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Coverage under this group is available to individuals who are without health insurance, or whose health insurance coverage does not meet the requirements for minimum essential coverage. This rule change adopts the eligibility criteria established within the Act into the MaineCare Eligibility Manual. This rule change will reduce barriers to COVID-19 testing and treatment which will improve health outcomes for the specific individuals covered and reduce the spread of this virus throughout the Maine population as a whole. Additionally, the Department regularly reviews policies to ensure clarity and conformity with state and federal requirements. Clarification was added to each section of Part 9 of this Manual to clarify eligibility criteria and processes. Changes were made to word choice for readability and in the interest of gender neutrality where appropriate.
Submit Comments (Opens in new window) - Comment Deadline: August 9, 2020 Posted: July 9, 2020
 
ASPIRE Rule #25P - Working Cars for Working Families Rule - Track Changes Rule Clean  | MAPA 3
Concise Summary: The Department was directed to operate a Working Cars for Working Families program, 22 M.R.S. 3769-F, by the 128th Legislature as part of the 2017-2018 biennial budget. The purpose is to assist participants in obtaining and maintaining sustainable employment by providing them with access to reliable, affordable transportation. The rule establishes the program, sets out eligibility and ongoing participation criteria, and describes the application and decision processes, including termination of services and appeal rights.
Submit Comments (Opens in new window) - No comment deadline Posted: June 3, 2020
 
FSET Rule #4P - Repeal and Replace Rule - Track Changes Rule - Clean  | MAPA 3
Concise Summary: The proposed rulemaking updates the Maine Food Supplement Employment and Training (FSET) program rules to detail current administration, available services and supports, and operating procedures of the FSET program. The rules clarify that FSET services may be delivered by the Department or by contracted providers who must deliver service components that meet federal standards. The rules identify priority target groups, and annual support service limits for participants, since annual funding is limited.
Submit Comments (Opens in new window) - No comment deadline Posted: March 25, 2020
 
ASPIRE Rule #27P - Good Cause Rule - Track Changes Rule - Clean  | MAPA 3
Concise Summary: The proposed change provides ASPIRE participants with additional process and information regarding the Good Cause exception. The rule also implements changes to Maine's Work Verification Plan dated September 30, 2019, to incorporate basic skills activities, including English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Adult Basic Education (ABE), General Education Diploma (GED), and High School Equivalency (HSE), into vocational educational training.
No Comments Comment Deadline: Apr 26, 2020 Posted: March 25, 2020
 
ASPIRE Rule #26P - Support Services Rule - Track Changes Rule - Clean  | MAPA 3
Concise Summary: This rule increases travel reimbursement for ASPIRE participants to support their ability to engage in required work activities and is reflective of current travel related costs.
Submit Comments (Opens in new window) - Comment Deadline: Apr 26, 2020 Posted: March 25, 2020
 
Food Supplement Rule #213P - Overpayment and Compromise updates Rule - Track Changes Rule - Clean  | MAPA 3
Concise Summary: The purpose of this rule is to update procedures regarding the establishment, compromise and collections of Food Supplement overpayments. This rule will more closely align Maine policy with that of other states in the Northeast SNAP Region. Due to cost effectiveness, Maine will no longer establish overpayments equal to or less than $200 for households still participating in the Food Supplement program or $500 for households no longer participating in the program. Maine will now compromise unintentional household errors. Maine may compromise agency and unintentional household errors at the time the claim is established. Additionally, when calculating unintentional household errors Overpayment Specialists will now go back two years from discovery rather than six years.
Submit Comments (Opens in new window) - Comment Deadline: Apr 26, 2020 Posted: March 25, 2020
 
Food Supplement Rule #211P - 2019 Updates to the Lottery Rule Rule - Track Changes Rule - Clean  | MAPA 3
Concise Summary:
Submit Comments (Opens in new window) - Comment Deadline: Apr 26, 2020 Posted: March 25, 2020
 
MaineCare Rule #293P - MSP and DEL Income Limit Changes 2019. Chapter 332 Track Changes Chapter 333 Track Changes  | MAPA 3
Concise Summary: This rule change aligns the MaineCare Eligibility Manual with 22 M.R.S. 3174-G (1)(E) as amended by H.P. - L.D. 1001 (BBB). This amendment increases the income thresholds for the various Medicare Savings Program benefits. The Department has incorporated, into this rule, a number of formatting and grammatical changes. These changes increase the readability of the Part in question, and strive to avoid potential conflict with other Chapters. This rule change aligns the Low Cost Drugs for Elderly and Disabled (DEL) - Eligibility Manual with 22 M.R.S. 254-D (4)(D) as amended by H.P. L.D. 1001 (ZZ). This amendment increases the income thresholds for the DEL program. Due to the press of other business, technological challenges, and coordination with CMS; the Department was unable to adopt this rule prior to March 1, 2020. Therefore, the Department is adopting this rule with a retroactive application date of March 1, 2020. Retroactive rulemaking is authorized by the Legislature in accordance with 22 M.R.S. 42 (8) because this rule provides a benefit to recipients or beneficiaries and does not have an adverse financial effect on either providers or beneficiaries or recipients.
Submit Comments (Opens in new window) - Comment Deadline: April 5, 2020 Posted: March 4, 2020
 
MaineCare Rule #292P - Medically Needy Rule Track Changes Rule Clean  | MAPA 3
Concise Summary: The Department regularly reviews policies to ensure clarity and conformity with state and federal requirements. Clarification was added as to which categorically needy coverage groups have a correlating Medically Needy group, and which would not qualify for Medically Needy if they exceed the income or asset limits for Categorically Needy coverage. Clarification was added where the Medically Needy budgeting process differs from the Categorically Needy budgeting process. Obsolete references to asset limits were removed. Clarification was added that the household must be liable for medical expenses and those expenses must be medically necessary for them to be applicable to a deductible. Additional changes were made to formatting and word choice for readability.
Submit Comments (Opens in new window) - Comment Deadline: Apr 5, 2020 Posted: March 4, 2020
 
General Assistance Rule # 23P - Changes Pursuant to LD459 Rule Track Changes Rule Clean  | MAPA 3
Concise Summary: The Rule makes several changes to the Manual governing operation of the General Assistance (GA) program to comport more closely with recently adopted statutory changes. In particular, those changes made through SP 137 - LD 459. It adds the definitions of homelessness and presumptive eligibility. It specifies that an emergency exists when a person is facing or experiencing homelessness. It allows for, and details the process and timelines for, presumptive eligibility. It clarifies that an 'initial applicant' is one who has never applied before. It clarifies the time limit for the lump sum penalty to conform to the amended statute. It updates the definition of narrative statement to require one each time action is taken on an application.
Submit Comments (Opens in new window) - Comment Deadline: Apr 5, 2020 Posted: March 4, 2020
 
TANF Rule # 114P - Changes to Household and Budgeting. Rule Track Changes Rule Clean  | MAPA 3
Concise Summary: This rule change aligns the Maine Public Assistance Manual with 22 M.R.S.: 3762 (3)(B)(7) as amended by L.D. 1772 and L.D. 1774; 3762-18 as amended by L.D. 1772; 3769-G as amended by L.D. 1772; and 3762 (20) as amended by L.D. 1001. These amendments require the Department to eliminate a gross income test for TANF/PaS applicants, utilize new earnings disregards when calculating a TANF/PaS benefit, accept referrals from educational institutions as PaS applications, provide up to two million dollars annually to organizations to support whole family economic security initiatives, and end TANF/PaS denials based on a positive drug test. This rule changes relationship requirements for TANF eligibility. These changes align TANF policy with related state law and policy which recognizes the additional relationships included in this rule. This rule provides the figures for the increased Standard of Need and Maximum benefit for Federal Fiscal Year 2021, as required by Maine Statute. In calculating these figures, corrections were also made to the figures for the current Federal Fiscal Year. The Department also incorporated into this rule a number of formatting and grammatical changes. The Department made some adjustments to word choice with the intent of using terms more consistently from chapter to chapter, and replaced words that may have taken on a different connotation since previous drafts. These changes increase the readability of the amended Chapters.
Submit Comments (Opens in new window) - Comment Deadline: Mar 15, 2020 Posted: February 12, 2020
 
Food Supplement Rule #209P - COLA SUA FFY 2020 Rule - Track Changes MAPA 3   
Concise Summary: This rule extends updates to: the federal poverty levels; maximum and minimum allotments; the threshold that requires a report of changes in household income; the standard, homeless shelter, maximum shelter, and standard utility allowance deductions for the Food Supplement adopted through emergency rule making on October 1, 2019. It moves these figures to charts at the end of the Manual. It adds verbiage clarifying the calculation of benefits for individuals residing in certain approved institutions that provide the majority of meals, to the extent that those calculations reference these annually updated figures.
Submit Comments (Opens in new window) - Comment Deadline: Dec 6, 2019 Posted: November 6, 2019
 
TANF Rule #113P - TANF Max Benefit 2019 Rule - Track Changes Rule - Clean  | MAPA 3
Concise Summary: This rule increases the TANF maximum benefit by 2.8% and makes related changes to the standard of need pursuant to 22 M.R.S. 3769-C(1)(D).
Submit Comments (Opens in new window) - Comment Deadline: Nov 30, 2019 Posted: October 30, 2019
 
Food Supplement Rule #210P - ABAWD Geographic Exemption Rule - Track Changes Rule - Clean  | MAPA 3
Concise Summary: The Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) regulations, administered in Maine as the Food Supplement Program, provide that certain able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) are subject to a maximum of three months of benefits over a 36-month period, unless they work 20 hours or more per week (averaged monthly) or participate in and comply with requirements of a work program. Individuals who reside in certain geographic areas can qualify for an exception to this time limit under 7 C.F.R. 273.24(f). The Department proposes to waive these work requirements for certain ABAWDs residing in geographic areas that have unemployment rates at or above 10% or have insufficient jobs for recipients residing in those areas. The geographic areas include 247 qualifying cities, towns, unorganized territories, townships, and reservations that qualify individually or as part of a federally defined labor market area. Upon adoption of these rules, ABAWDs residing in those areas will no longer have to meet the work requirements to receive Food Supplement benefits.
Submit Comments (Opens in new window) - Comment Deadline: Nov 30, 2019 Posted: October 30, 2019
 
Food Supplement Rule #208P Rule - Track Changes MAPA 3   
Concise Summary: This rule removes asset limits for households that qualify for broad based categorical eligibility and in which all members are either elderly or disabled. The purpose of this rule is to improve program access and allow two of Maine's most vulnerable populations to participate in the Food Supplement Program without liquidating their household assets.
Submit Comments (Opens in new window) - Comment Deadline: Nov 1, 2019 Posted: October 2, 2019
 
MaineCare Rule #291P - SBW Premium Rule Rule track changes MAPA 3   
Concise Summary: Premium amounts for the SBW program have been negotiated between the Office of MaineCare Services (OMS) and CMS for calendar year 2019 through calendar year 2028.
Submit Comments (Opens in new window) - Comment Deadline: September 27, 2019 Posted: August 28, 2019
 
HOPE Rule #100P - Higher Opportunity for Pathways to Employment (HOPE) Program Rules Rule Cover Sheet   
Concise Summary: This rule introduces requirements for HOPE Program services, which are supports to low-income parents and caregivers attending educational institutions, which promote attainment of educational goals. The rule will formalize the application process, financial and non-financial eligibility and participation requirements, verification and reporting responsibilities, types of eligible training/education programs, and support services conditions. This rule defines navigation services available to HOPE participants. The expectation is this rule will help address barriers of low-income students throughout their higher educational endeavors and eliminate major hurdles to continued training/education.
Submit Comments (Opens in new window) - Comment Deadline: October 11, 2019 Posted: August 14, 2019
 
General Assistance Rule #22P - Access for Certain Non-Citizens Rule Track Changes MAPA 3   
Concise Summary: In 2015, the Maine Legislature amended the definition of "eligibility" in the Municipal General Assistance law through P.L. 2015, ch. 324, codified at 22 M.R.S. 4301(3), by adding the following sentence: Beginning July 1, 2015, in accordance with 8 United States Code, Section 1621(d), eligible person means a person who is lawfully present in the United States or who is pursuing a lawful process to apply for immigration relief, except that assistance for such a person may not exceed 24 months. The terms lawfully present and pursuing a lawful process to apply for immigration relief were not defined in the statute. In April 2016 the Department adopted regulations defining those terms. On July 18, 2019, the Department adopted emergency rules, which amended the definition of lawfully present and pursuing a lawful process to apply for immigration relief in Section II of the regulation. The emergency rule broadened the definitions to include asylum seekers who provide proof that they are taking reasonable good steps to apply for immigration relief, including pursuit of asylum or other adjustments of immigration status. The definition of 'pursuing a lawful process to apply for immigration relief also set forth what types of documentation would be required to prove that an individual was taking reasonable, good faith steps to apply for immigration relief with the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services or before an immigration judge. In addition, the emergency rule made the following changes to Section IV(N): (1) required those individuals provide satisfactory proof to the municipalities, as defined in Section II, that they are either lawfully present or pursuing a lawful process to apply for immigration relief; and (2) required municipalities to provide relevant information to the Department upon request, for purposes of program integrity and coordination and prevention of duplication of services. Pursuant to 5 M.R.S. 8054, the emergency rules can be in effect for up to 90 days. This rulemaking proposes to make the July 18, 2019 emergency changes permanent. Pursuant to 5 MRS 8052, the Department finds that permanent rulemaking is necessary to conform the General Assistance Program to existing law particularly given the ongoing influx, into Maine, of noncitizens who are at the first stages of seeking asylum or other immigration status. Obtaining legal employment while their applications are pending is often difficult or impossible. These residents thus require immediate assistance with basic needs such as shelter and food. Various Maine municipalities expend both privately and publicly sourced emergency funds for such care, and have opened emergency shelters to provide temporary housing. Adjacent municipalities offer assistance of various sorts, but such aid is limited by their own municipal budgetary restrictions. If the emergency rule is not made permanent, the anticipated exhaustion of local resources will cause a critical problem with the provision of assistance to such migrants, many of them children, including medicine, food and shelter. In addition to the July 18, 2019 emergency changes, the Department proposes to amend the definition of eligible person in Section II, so that it more closely comports with the statutory definition in 22 M.R.S. 4301(3).
Submit Comments (Opens in new window) - Comment Deadline: September 06, 2019 Posted: August 7, 2019
 
MaineCare Rule #296P - Transitional MaineCare 2019 changes Rule Track Changes Rule Clean  | MAPA 3
Concise Summary: This rule change aligns the MaineCare Eligibility Manual with 22 M.R.S. 3174-G (4) as amended by H.P. 1261 - L.D. 1774. This amendment requires the Department to provide transitional Medicaid, to individuals eligible due to increased earnings, for a twelve-month period. Previously, this assistance was provided for a six-month period with an option of two three-month extensions. The Department has incorporated into this rule a number of formatting and grammatical changes. The Department made some adjustments to word choice with the intent of using terms more consistently from section to section and replaced words that may have taken on a different connotation since previous drafts. These changes increase the readability of the Parts in question. The Department has removed some obsolete references in the Parts in question. These references caused undue confusion. The Department removed language specific to internal processes that do not directly impact eligibility or client interactions. These changes included removing references to the job title of the individual in the department who would most often take a particular action. In addition to this level of specificity being unnecessary, it appeared to unduly restrict individuals with other titles who are capable of taking these actions from doing so, thereby impeding access to benefits and timely decisions for program applicants and recipients.
Submit Comments (Opens in new window) - Comment Deadline: Apr 12, 2020 Posted: