Rebecca Conley / Maine Public

In a 6-1 decision, Maine's highest court has ruled that the LePage administration must begin the process of implementing the Medicaid expansion law that voters passed last year.

A nursing home in West Paris that cares for 72 residents has announced that it will close in 60 days.

The business manager of Ledgeview Living Center, Roger Wilday, says insufficient Medicaid reimbursement rates are the driving factor.

"At this time our challenges are, you know, MaineCare reimbursement system doesn't cover what our expenses are for the facility,” he says.

MaineCare is the state version of Medicaid. Wilday says Ledgeview is contacting other nursing homes to find placements for residents.

LePage's Welfare Allegations Don't Always Lead To Charges

Oct 6, 2017

Republican Gov. Paul LePage's administration says it's uncovered over $1 million in possible fraud and abuse by Mainers receiving state assistance.
But a fraction of such theft allegations typically ends in charges by Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills, who has asked for more prosecutors to handle the caseload.

People who receive MaineCare — the state’s version of Medicaid — may soon have to work and pay monthly premiums in order to get benefits.

Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services officially filed an application this week to the federal government to make those changes. Critics say Maine’s plan would erect barriers to health care that will drive up costs for everyone.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

The LePage administration is seeking federal permission to change the eligibility rules for MaineCare, the state version of Medicaid. If approved, able-bodied adults would have to meet work requirements and chip in on their health care.

State officials say the changes would make the program financially stable and help enrollees become self-sufficient. But at a public comment hearing in Portland on Wednesday, those opposed say the changes will cut access to health care, which contradicts the real purpose of Medicaid.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Gov. Paul LePage's administration is asking President Donald Trump to allow Maine to require certain adults to work to receive Medicaid.
The state wants to count an individual's personal assets when determining MaineCare eligibility and wants to collect monthly premiums for adults who have the ability to earn income.
Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew says the administration will submit the request following public hearings, scheduled for May 17 in Portland and May 18 in Augusta.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine officials are informing the new presidential administration of steps the state would like to take to reform Medicaid.

Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew outlines the changes in a Wednesday letter to the federal government. The letter is addressed to Tom Price, President Donald Trump's nominee for U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Mal Leary / MPBN

The office of Gov. Paul LePage has issued what it calls some “clarifications” of statements LePage made about the state’s Medicaid program while taking part as a guest on Monday’s radio call-in program Maine Calling.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's Department of Health and Human Services has indicated it wants to change the payment rates for various services under Maine's version of Medicaid, called MaineCare.

The changes would be through rulemaking, and Rep. Drew Gattine, a Democrat from Westbrook, urged that process be delayed until lawmakers can review the rules next January.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A mental health agency says proposed cutbacks to Maine's Medicaid reimbursement rates could adversely affect an estimated 30,000 people relying on organizations that serve mentally ill clients.

Officials with Community Health and Counseling Services tell the Portland Press Herald that a MaineCare reimbursement rate study was conducted earlier this month. Some services could see a 20 percent to 40 percent rate reduction.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee has voted to review the LePage administration's decision to change eligibility for mental health services under MaineCare.

"We have heard from literally hundreds of people, primarily consumers, who are in a panic that this is going to have an impact on their ability to access services," says the committee's co-chair, Rep. Drew Gattine, a Westbrook Democrat.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The LePage administration says it wants to streamline the process of setting reimbursement rates for services sought by intellectually disabled adults by not requiring a public hearing.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

Editor's note: This is Part 4 of our 5-part "State of Withdrawal" series. Click here for the other stories in the series.

This week we've been hearing from doctors and treatment providers about why they object to the state's plan to end MaineCare coverage for about 3,000 methadone patients.

Nora Flaherty / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - Advocates for Maine's poor and homeless say changes to MaineCare are leaving many clients without reliable transportation, and that the results can be catastrophic for some.

Until a few months ago, Maine Care provided clients with regular appointments with unlimited monthly bus passes; but now, the state contracts transportation to several companies statewide, and clients who don't have a regular daily appointment - like methadone treatment - only receive bus passes to medical appointments.

When Maine made deep cuts to its Medicaid program last January, 25,000 parents and childless adults lost their health care coverage. More than six months later, staffers at the Maine chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness say they are overwhelmed by calls.