For the first time since 2001, Maine’s small businesses can expect to see decreased health insurance premiums under a new law proposed by Governor Janet Mills and passed by the Maine Legislature.
The Made for Maine Health Coverage Act leverages federal funds to help make premiums less costly for small businesses with 50 or fewer employees. Those businesses can expect an average decline of 0.8 percent in health insurance costs in 2023 thanks to this legislation.
This is great news for the approximately 52,000 working Mainers who get their health insurance through their employers in the small group market. As Governor Mills recently said:
“This is a victory for many Maine small businesses and their hardworking employees who rely on the small-group market for health insurance, and it couldn’t come at a better time. As Maine small businesses grapple with high costs from inflation, this is one less thing they will have to worry about.”
The new law is the latest addition to a series of bills designed to make affordable healthcare more accessible to everyday Mainers.
Last session lawmakers passed LD 1778, which directs the Office of Affordable Health to study barriers to affordable healthcare and ways to expand coverage for families and small businesses.
The Legislature also passed LD 1390 to help the state identify people without health insurance who may be eligible for MaineCare or a health plan in the Maine Health Insurance Marketplace (CoverME), by asking about health insurance status on state income tax forms.
Thanks to our leaders in Augusta, more and more Mainers are gaining access to affordable healthcare. We hope to see more progress in the near future as our elected officials continue to work towards meeting the needs of our working families.