Fixing a broken system
The lack of affordable healthcare has hurt many Mainers. Even prior to the pandemic, Maine had the highest uninsured rate of any New England state.
From the family glitch to crippling premiums, quality healthcare is becoming more unattainable. Scroll down to learn more about some of the flaws in our system, and how we can address them.
State of Maine
Governor Janet Mills and the State Legislature passed two emergency bills to support workers and small businesses impacted by COVID-19 and to ensure the state government has the tools to help every Mainer in the face of a global pandemic.
What resources are there for me if I lost my job?
The state government is establishing a consumer loan guarantee program to provide no-interest loans for Maine workers who have lost their job or seen a drop in pay as a result of COVID-19
And temporarily expanding eligibility for unemployment benefits for workers impacted by COVID-19
What resources are there for my kids home from school?
The state government is Increasing the Department of Education’s ability to waive certain school-day requirements and to continue school lunch programs for all eligible children
What is being done to contain the coronavirus in Maine?
The legislature authorized Governor Mills to determine and direct the manner of the June 2020 primary, if necessary
The state government is delaying the effective date of the single-use plastic bag ban to January 15, 2021.
The legislature authorized Governor Mills to adjust state, county and municipal government deadlines and to permit all public entities to meet by remote participation
The state government is expanding the ability of Maine Emergency Medical Services’ Board and staff to take actions more promptly
What actions will help me if I can't pay my bills?
The legislature authorized Governor Mills to prohibit utilities from terminating residential electric and water service
– In 2017, Maine had the second-highest median household spending on premium contributions for employer coverage of all states, at $3,250 per household.
Information on premium costs:
– An element of the ACA that needs to be fixed is the “family glitch,” which leaves between 2-4 million Americans uninsured, including about 500,000 children. There are many low- to moderate-income families who cannot afford the family plan offered through an employer, but because the employed family member can afford a self-only plan, everyone else loses eligibility for marketplace subsidies. There are likely thousands of Mainers who fall into this category.
Information on the "family glitch":
– States are examining strategies to strengthen their marketplaces and expand coverage. Some have introduced proposals for individuals above Medicaid eligibility levels to “buy-in” to Medicaid or develop a “public option” to strengthen coverage across the individual market and Medicaid. These programs create opportunities for states to make healthcare more affordable and accessible.
Information on a Medicaid buy-in or a healthcare public option:
– Maine’s expansion of its Medicaid program, MaineCare, helps thousands access the coverage and care they need. It is critical that legislators defend the MaineCare program and protect it from budget cuts so that this progress is not reversed.
Information on MaineCare expansion: