A look at how expanding MaineCare could play out by county

A coalition advocating the expansion of Medicaid in Maine under the Affordable Care Act has released a county-level breakdown of the potential impact.

The Cover Maine Now! Coalition had previously estimated that expanding the health insurance program for low-income Americans, known here as MaineCare, would bring coverage to about 70,000 people, including 25,000 Mainers due to lose MaineCare eligibility on Jan. 1 following legislative cuts. Today, the coalition released a county-by-county breakdown of the number of Mainers who would benefit from expanding MaineCare. Those figures were accompanied by some economic impact figures drawn from an earlier study conducted by two coalition members, Maine Equal Justice Partners and the Maine Center for Economic Policy.

The release coincided with a presentation in Portland today by DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew, who reiterated the LePage administration’s opposition to expanding MaineCare, saying enrollment and costs have skyrocketed, putting benefits for the most needy Mainers at risk.

If Maine were to expand MaineCare, the federal government has committed to funding all of the costs for three years before incrementally reducing its share to 90 percent. (Clarification: The state would still have to pay its existing share, about 60 cents on the dollar, for the roughly 15,000 parents on MaineCare who are due to lose coverage on Jan. 1. The other 10,000 people losing MaineCare in the new year, made up of childless adults, would be fully covered by the feds under an expansion).

Adults who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($15,856/year for an individual, $26,951/year for a family of three) would be newly eligible, starting Jan. 1.

The numbers below are from Cover Maine Now’s press release. (The group issued a corrected release after I inquired about a discrepancy in the numbers. Some of the figures were mistakenly double counted in the original release, according to Sara Gagné-Holmes, executive director of Maine Equal Justice Partners and an organizer of the Cover Maine Now! Coalition).

In short, the coalition counted up the number of uninsured people in each county (not including those over age 65, who are eligible for Medicare, the government health insurance program for the elderly), then examined how many of them earned 138 percent of the federal poverty level or less. The coalition also included adults who have MaineCare coverage now but are due to lose eligibility in the new year.

Androscoggin:

5,829 people would gain access to health care

An additional $30 million will be spent annually on health care services by 2016, stimulating about $45 million in additional economic activity

Expansion would create approximately 378 new jobs in the county.

Aroostook:

4,615 people would gain access to health care

An additional $24 million will be spent annually on health care services by 2016, stimulating about $31 million in additional economic activity

Expansion would create approximately 280 new jobs in the county.

Cumberland:

12,018 people would gain access to health care

An additional $63 million will be spent annually on health care services by 2016, stimulating about $104 million in additional economic activity

Expansion would create approximately 846 new jobs in the county.

Franklin:

1,878 people would gain access to health care

An additional $10 million will be spent annually on health care services by 2016, stimulating about $13 million in additional economic activity

Expansion would create approximately 123 new jobs in the county.

Hancock:

3,235 people would gain access to health care

An additional $17 million will be spent annually on health care services by 2016, stimulating about $23 million in additional economic activity

Expansion would create approximately 204 new jobs in the county.

Kennebec:

5,997 people would gain access to health care;

An additional $32 million will be spent annually on health care services by 2016, stimulating about $43 million in additional economic activity; and

Expansion would create approximately 367 new jobs in the county.

Knox:

2,317 people would gain access to health care

An additional $12 million will be spent annually on health care services by 2016, stimulating about $17 million in additional economic activity; and

Expansion would create approximately 154 new jobs in the county.

Lincoln:

1,817 people would gain access to health care;

An additional $10 million will be spent annually on health care services by 2016, stimulating about $13 million in additional economic activity; and

Expansion would create approximately 124 new jobs in the county.

Oxford:

3,806 people would gain access to health care;

An additional $20 million will be spent annually on health care services by 2016, stimulating about $25 million in additional economic activity; and

Expansion would create approximately 231 new jobs in the county.

Penobscot:

8,447 people would gain access to health care;

An additional $45 million will be spent annually on health care services by 2016, stimulating about $66 million in additional economic activity; and

Expansion would create approximately 545 new jobs in the county.

Piscataquis:

1,067 people would gain access to health care;

An additional $6 million will be spent annually on health care services by 2016, stimulating about $6 million in additional economic activity; and

Expansion would create approximately 63 new jobs in the county.

Sagadahoc:

1,456 people would gain access to health care;

An additional $8 million will be spent annually on health care services by 2016, stimulating about $3 million in additional economic activity; and

Expansion would create approximately 34 new jobs in the county.

Somerset:

3,590 people would gain access to health care;

An additional $19 million will be spent annually on health care services by 2016, stimulating about $23 million in additional economic activity; and

Expansion would create approximately 207 new jobs in the county.

Waldo:

2,629 people would gain access to health care;

An additional $14 million will be spent annually on health care services by 2016, stimulating about $18 million in additional economic activity; and

Expansion would create approximately 161 new jobs in the county

Washington:

2,601 people would gain access to health care;

An additional $14 million will be spent annually on health care services by 2016, stimulating about $17 million in additional economic activity; and

Expansion would create approximately 155 new jobs in the county.

York:

8,196 people would gain access to health care;

An additional $43 million will be spent annually on health care services by 2016, stimulating about $59 million in additional economic activity; and

Expansion would create approximately 513 new jobs in the county.

 

 

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Jackie Farwell

About Jackie Farwell

I'm the health editor for the Bangor Daily News, a Bangor native, a UMaine grad, and a weekend crossword warrior. I never get sick of writing about Maine people, geeking out over health care data, and finding new ways to help you stay well. I live in Gorham with my husband Nick and our hound dog Riley.