Medicaid expansion advances in Maine

Maine is moving forward with Medicaid expansion after newly sworn-in Gov. Janet Mills signed an executive order Jan. 3.

The executive order directs the state's department of health and human services to expeditiously begin implementation of Medicaid expansion, which voters passed in November 2017.

Ms. Mills, a Democrat, said she sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma asking for formal approval of the state plan amendments for the expansion filed by former Gov. Paul LePage's administration and amended Jan. 3.  

"I am directing my administration to begin implementing Medicaid expansion as quickly and as efficiently as possible so that we can help more Maine people access the healthcare they need," Ms. Mills said in a news release. "Expanding healthcare and lowering the cost for Maine people and small businesses is a top priority of my administration, and I look forward to working with the legislature to achieve that goal."

Mr. LePage, a Republican, repeatedly fought Medicaid expansion during his governorship. But in November, while Mr. LePage was still in office, a Maine judge ordered that the rules for Medicaid expansion must be established.

Medicaid expansion is projected to allow more than 70,000 Maine residents to gain coverage.


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