Tens-Of-Thousands of Mainers Possibly Losing Mainecare Coverage as Pandemic-Era Eligibility Waiver Ends

Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 12:01 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -Tens-of-thousands of Mainers may soon lose their Mainecare coverage when eligibility requirements go back into effect next month. Corey Bouchard spoke with the Maine DHHS Commissioner to learn more about how this will impact those affected.

Jeanne Lambrew - Commissioner - Maine DHHS " And that was because we were in the middle of the pandemic, people needed healthcare and we didnt want people to lose their health coverage in the middle of the pandemic”

Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew from the Maine Department of Health and Human services is talking about a pandemic era policy that put a pause on verifying income and employment eligibility for Maine’s Medicare System or MaineCare. Lambrew explains that a bill passed by congress reinstates the eligibility requirement checks to begin again in April.

Lambrew” What that means is over the next 14 months, the state of Maine and all other states will renew all those people who are currently in the Mainecare program to see if they continue to be eligible , if they are they can stay in the program and if not we will work with them to make sure they know their affordable coverage options "

Currently, Lambrew estimates that in april there will be around 420,000 Mainers on Mainecare, and she says the amount that could lose their coverage due to becoming ineligible could be into the tens-of-thousands.

Lambrew " Over the course of the next 14 months, we roughly think that based on estimates that 65,000-90,000 people could lose their mainecare coverage, we think that the vast majority of them will have some other form of coverage.”

one of the main forms of coverage lambrew expects people to fall back on is coverage through an employer, if they have no alternative form of coverage one option for obtaining coverage is through the state of Maine’s low cost health insurance marketplace Coverme.gov.

Lambrew”it’s really important for people to know what they should be doing now. those people in Mainecare today should visit Mymaineconnection.gov to set up an account to update their contact information so Mainecare can reach you.

Lambrew says that they will begin sending out renewal forms in april and that they will have a blue banner on the envelope. If you have any questions about eligability or your Mainecare Coverage you should contact the Maine Department of Health and Human Services