Working to improve Health Equity in Maine
Linking all people living in Maine to the coverage, care and safety net programs they need. Call Consumers for Affordable Health Care at 1-800-965-7476 for information on health coverage and other resources available in Maine to meet your health care needs.
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COVID-19 and Maine’s budget crisis require action on health care costs by Ann Woloson, Executive Director
Gov. Janet Mills has led Maine’s response to the health crisis with compassion and clarity. Yet Maine is not immune from the seismic impacts of COVID-19. A $1.4 billion budget shortfall is estimated over the next three years, including a loss of more than $520 million this fiscal year. Maine holds the unsavory distinction of the greatest racial disparity in COVID-19 infection rates, with Black Mainers more than 20 times more likely to contract the virus than their white neighbors. A recent report shows 14,000 Mainers will be newly uninsured after tens of thousands have lost employer-provided insurance since February. (read more here)
Mills Administration Announces Further Investment to Address Racial and Ethnic Disparities in COVID-19. Governor’s announcement regarding dedicating $1M from CARES funds to address racial and ethnic disparities related to COVID-19.
Maine Department of Human Services (DHHS) issues Request for Information (RFI) for input on the Departments organizational structure and contracting process as it works to “address COVID disparities as well as the underlying causes of inequity that pre-date COVID-19.”
Criminal Justice: Ensuring incarcerated Mainers have access to health coverage as they reenter their communities
Our Consumer Assistance Program is working with leadership in the Department of Corrections (DOC) in helping people leaving incarceration and reentering their communities enroll in Health Coverage. Call 1-800-965-7476 for more information.
People of color living in Maine have been disproportionately incarcerated compared to their white neighbors. Maine’s Black youth represent an estimated 23 percent of detained youth, nearly 12 times the Black representation in Maine’s total youth population, with over 16 percent of young black Mainers legally committed to serving time.
People involved with Maine’s Criminal Justice system are being screened for MaineCare eligibility before they leave prison. People who had MaineCare coverage before they entered the Maine State Prison will have their coverage reinstated. A MaineCare application will be completed and submitted to Maine Department of Health and Human Services by a case worker on behalf of people who did not qualify for coverage before they became incarcerated.
Case Workers, probation workers and other DOC staff are being trained about health coverage options for people reentering their communities. People who don’t qualify for MaineCare, may qualify for private Marketplace coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Once released, people leaving incarceration qualify for a 60-day Special Enrollment Period to sign up for private Marketplace coverage, even if it’s outside the Marketplace Open Enrollment Period. Call Consumers for Affordable Health Care at 1-800-965-7476 for more information and help applying for coverage.