Maine DHHS releases updated data on MaineCare eligibility reviews

August 25, 2023

Today, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is releasing an update including July 2023 data on the resumption of MaineCare (Medicaid) eligibility reviews after the COVID-19 public health emergency, known as “unwinding.” To view Maine’s unwinding data report, please visit the MaineCare Renewals Data Dashboard.

This update to the initial data release covers the first three months of redeterminations as reported to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), reflecting MaineCare members who were due for renewal in May, June, and July. Note that data corrections and updates occur on a monthly basis, with the most recent month’s data reflecting the most accurate information at that point in time.

DHHS continues to conduct extensive outreach to let MaineCare members know about the steps they can take to maintain their coverage in MaineCare, (Maine’s Health Insurance Marketplace), or employer-based insurance.

Examples of these outreach efforts include:

  • Calling MaineCare member households who did not return their renewal paperwork in June. As a result of such calls, over 1,200 households initiated or completed their June renewal, and over 500 requested to close their MaineCare coverage for reasons such as having other insurance or no longer being a resident of Maine. DHHS will continue to conduct this targeted follow up outreach to remind members of the renewal requirements and urge them to return their renewal forms.
  • Writing a column to enlist Maine employers in supporting their employees on how they and their families can stay covered.
  • Sending a flyer to families in the Back to School “virtual backpack” created by the Department of Education, to let parents know that even if they themselves are no longer eligible for MaineCare, their children might be, given Maine’s expanded coverage of children.
  • Adding information on unwinding on sites run by the Department of Labor for employers and job seekers.
  • Streamlining transitions of coverage to, including targeted direct mail and calls to MaineCare members found to be no longer eligible for MaineCare, and implementation of an extended Special Enrollment Period for people transitioning from MaineCare;
  • Continuing support for community-based organizations to conduct activities like outreach to seasonal and migrant farmworkers in multiple languages with on-site and mobile resource centers; providing assistance to community members receiving notifications about their MaineCare renewals; posting information in libraries, food markets, and town offices; and sharing information through newsletters and social media outreach.

Additionally, Maine continues to work on its passive renewal process (also called “ex parte”). In light of new CMS engagement with all states in August, DHHS is continuing to suspend disenrollment of members for the “procedural” reason of not returning their recertification form until further notice. This reflects Maine’s commitment to coverage, which includes ensuring systems are sufficient to prevent individuals and families from losing coverage unnecessarily.

MaineCare members who have not yet gone through the redetermination process should take two important steps to stay covered:

  1. Update their current contact information with MaineCare, including address, email and phone number. Members can call 1-855-797-4357 and press option 1 to update contact information through an automated system, or visit Stay Connected to Stay Covered!
  2. Be on the lookout for an envelope with a blue block on it, which contains the MaineCare renewal notice: If it’s blue, it’s time to renew! Members who signed up for e-noticing on My Maine Connection will receive their notice electronically and will not receive the envelope. Whether a member receives their renewal form by mail or e-notice, they will need to complete and return it by the deadline.  Members who are determined to be eligible through the passive renewal process will receive a notice that their coverage has been renewed for 12 months and will not be required to fill out a renewal form.