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Maine and Medicaid

August 7, 2013 Common Cents

State uninsurance rates, 2001-2011Opponents of Medicaid expansion make a mistake in pointing to Maine to argue that extending Medicaid to more people did not increase the number of people with insurance.  In fact, Maine has been more successful in keeping its residents insured than most of the rest of the states in large part because it extended Medicaid to more low-income adults.

Maine first expanded its program to cover low-income childless adults in 2002.  During that time, the uninsurance rate among childless adults in Maine fell from 40 percent to 27 percent.  In 2005, Maine put an enrollment cap on the program, effectively prohibiting more adults from enrolling.  Maine’s uninsurance rate would have declined even more were it not that some applicants were excluded by the cap.  Nationally during this time, the share of the U.S. population under the age of 65 without health insurance grew from 15.2 percent to 17.9 percent.

But even with those circumstances, Maine managed to keep more people covered than most other states and during a recession. While the unemployment rate in New Hampshire went from 3.5 percent to 5.4 percent, in Maine it rose from 4 percent to 8 percent.

However, Maine saw no comparable increase in the percentage of adults without health insurance during this time. Instead it saw a slight decrease from 12.2 percent to 11.8 percent between 2001 and 2011 even as thousands of people lost their jobs – and their employer-sponsored insurance – in the recession.  In other words, despite an enrollment cap and dire economic conditions, Maine was more successful in keeping its residents insured largely because of its Medicaid expansion.

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Interactive Maps of Municipal Economic Disparities and Fiscal Capacities

30 Aug 2018

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New Hampshire’s economy continues to grow overall, but significant disparities in economic conditions and service needs exist within the boundaries of the Granite State. Differences between the southeastern part of the state and the more rural northern and western regions can be identified broadly and are present across many different indicators. However, experiences in local communities can vary widely even within regions. NHFPI’s new Issue Brief, Measuring New Hampshire’s Municipalities: Economic Disparities and Fiscal Capacities, explores measures indicating the differing experiences of these communities. Interactive maps showing many of these measures are available through NHFPI’s Data Viz posts.