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CMS Approves Maine's 1115 Demonstration Waiver

December 21, 2018

For Immediate Release: Friday, December 21, 2018
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA--The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has officially approved Maine's demonstration waiver application under section 1115 (a) of the Social Security Act. This approval will allow the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to implement a number of commonsense reforms within the MaineCare program, aimed at promoting self-sufficiency among clients and reestablishing Medicaid's core mission of supporting the elderly, disabled, and children.

"Under my Administration, we have worked to lift Mainers out of poverty by prioritizing work within our welfare programs," said Maine Governor Paul R. LePage. "With the approval of the 1115 waiver, we will be able to replicate that success in our Medicaid program."

Through Maine's 1115 waiver, CMS approved a number of reforms to the MaineCare program, most notably the requirement of able-bodied adults to participate in community engagement activities and/or work, and the collection of monthly premiums for adults who have the ability to earn income. With these changes, the Administration seeks to build off of the success brought by similar work requirements within the state's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. These improvements will help prioritize Maine's neediest populations and preserve the financial stability that has been achieved within the program over the last eight years.

"For all of our public assistance programs, our primary goal is to help people," added Governor LePage. "We can help people by supporting and encouraging them to stand on their own--allowing them to take charge of their financial independence. This approval is a big step forward for our State, as it provides us the opportunity to continue expanding our available workforce and allows us to focus our resources on those individuals who need it most."

"Maine marks the seventh community engagement demonstration we have approved since announcing this important opportunity earlier this year," said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. "I'm proud that CMS has responded so effectively to the strong interest from states interested in helping connect working-age adult Medicaid beneficiaries with opportunities to improve their health and financial independence through work and community engagement. We look forward to continuing this work in the new year."

A copy of CMS's approval letter and waiver are available at the links below.

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