Improving Health Care for Maine People and Small Businesses:
Expanding access to health care and making it more affordable for Maine people and small businesses is a priority for Governor Mills. Since taking office, Governor Mills has:
- Expanded Medicaid: Following the will of Maine voters, Governor Mills issued an Executive Order on her first full day in office expanding Medicaid in Maine. Today, over 90,000 Maine people have health care, including preventive care, like cancer screenings, as a result.
- Restored Drugs for the Elderly: Governor Mills restored and expanded the Low Cost Drugs for the Elderly and Disabled Program, which helps low-income seniors afford prescription medications. The program had been eliminated under the previous administration.
- Protected Coverage for Preexisting Conditions: Governor Mills proposed and signed into law ‘An Act to Protect Health Care Coverage for Maine Families’, which 1) ensures no Mainer living with pre-existing conditions is denied health care coverage; 2) prohibits charging seniors substantially higher rates due to age; 3) bans lifetime and annual caps on coverage; 4) allows young adults up to age 26 to remain on their parents’ insurance, and; 5) requires ten essential health benefits, such as ambulance services, prescription drugs and pediatric care.
- Improved Private Health Coverage for Maine People: Governor Mills proposed and signed into law the ‘Made for Maine Health Coverage Act’, a bill that makes some of the most common medical visits free or less costly, that simplifies shopping for a health care plan, lowers insurance costs for the small group market, and that established a State-based health insurance marketplace – CoverME.gov – which helped achieve a 10 percent increase in Maine people selecting plans over the previous open enrollment period, reversing years of decline.
- Signed Prescription Drug Reform: Governor Mills signed into law a comprehensive prescription drug reform package that allows the wholesale importation of prescription medicine, creates a prescription drug affordability board, increases drug price transparency and better regulates pharmacy benefit managers.
- Launched Small Business Premium Relief Program: Through her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, Governor Mills launched the Small Business Health Insurance Premium Relief Program to help small businesses maintain affordable health insurance for their employees – a critical benefit in recruiting and retaining workers – as Maine recovers from the pandemic.
- Tackled The Skyrocketing Cost of Insulin: Governor Mills signed into law a bill creating an insulin safety net program, allowing Mainers with type-one diabetes to buy a 30-day supply of insulin for $35 at least once a year.
- Expanded Dental Care: Governor Mills will expand preventive and restorative dental care to more than 200,000 low income Maine people in 2022.
- Expanded Access to Reproductive Rights: Governor Mills protected and expanded access to reproductive health care, including proposing and signing into law a bill allowing trained and qualified advanced practice clinicians, like nurse practitioners, to provide medication and in-clinic abortion care and a bill requiring public and private insurance companies that cover prenatal care to cover abortion care.
- Eliminated Tax on Menstrual Products: Governor Mills proposed funding to exempt the sale of menstrual products from sales tax, making Maine the latest state to abolish taxes on these sales to remove barriers to accessing necessary menstrual products.
- Increased Funding for Crucial MaineCare Services: Governor Mills has invested unprecedented funding to reform MaineCare and provide pandemic assistance for providers of health care and long-term services and supports for older Mainers, people with behavioral health challenges, adults with intellectual or physical disabilities, home- and community-based services, and ambulance services in rural areas, among others. In her biennial budget signed into law on July 1, 2021, the Governor, with the support of the Legislature, increased MaineCare payment rates across these and other services by over $500 million, including Federal matching payments.
- Strengthened Maine’s Health Care Workforce: Through her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, Governor Mills has dedicated unprecedented funding to tackle Maine’s longstanding health care workforce challenges, including initiatives that advance career pathway development, provide on-the-job training opportunities, and ensure “stackable” credits for workers entering the fields of long-term services and supports among others.
- Recertified Riverview Psychiatric Facility: Governor Mills won Federal recertification of Riverview Psychiatric Facility, which was decertified under the previous administration, and paid back State’s debt to the Federal government accrued by the previous administration during Riverview’s decertification.
- Negotiated A Path to Ending the 30-Year Old Consent Decree: Governor Mills reached a landmark agreement establishing the process to end the three decade old Augusta Mental Health Institute (AMHI) Consent Decree.
- Rebuilt Public Health and Social Services Infrastructure: Governor Mills restored critical funding to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to hire child protective caseworkers, Maine CDC staff including public health nurses, and others.