Good Health Policy - Good for Maine’s Economy
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has set aside federal dollars for Maine to provide Medicaid coverage to approximately 69,500 people who would be uninsured otherwise. Adults with income up to 138% FPL ($15,856/year for an individual; $26,951/year for a family of three) would be covered, starting January 1, 2014.
Full implementation of the ACA’s Medicaid option is a good deal for the State of Maine. The federal government will pay 100% of the cost of covering “newly eligible” individuals in Maine for three years, through December 31, 2016. After that, the federal contribution will be adjusted gradually until it reaches the permanent rate of 90% in 2020, far greater than the 64-cent rate it pays for current Medicaid members.
Most working low-income adults with income below 138% of the federal poverty level can’t afford health insurance. They have little to no discretionary income and cannot afford the out-of-pocket expenses that people in health care Exchanges will have to pay, even with available subsidies.