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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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House Fails to Pass State Budget, Process Moves to Senate

6 Apr 2017

tree with coins

The New Hampshire House, for the first time in recent history, has opted to not pass the State Budget bills, introduced as House Bill 1 and House Bill 2. April 6 was the deadline set by legislative leadership to pass those bills out of the House and move them to the Senate, a day often referred to as “crossover.” The Senate phase of the budget begins after April 6, and the Senate has expressed an intent to move forward with a budget in the Senate Finance Committee. However, with no House Bill 1 or House Bill 2 crossing over, the Senate has to forge an alternative path to debate and amend the budget.