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Nov/Dec 2007

Hold the Date: Cyber Seminar on Maine’s Experience in Expanding Coverage

On February 1, 2008, from 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. EDT, The Commonwealth Fund’s State Innovations program and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization (HCFO) and State Coverage Initiatives (SCI) programs are hosting a Web- and audio-based conference, which will feature findings from an evaluation of Maine’s progress in providing affordable health insurance coverage to its residents.

With the launch of the Dirigo Health Reform Act in 2003, Maine became the first state to pass comprehensive health reform with the goal of covering all residents. As part of the reform effort, Maine developed two coverage options for its residents: DirigoChoice, a subsidized insurance product, and a Medicaid eligibility expansion for low-income parents of dependent children. In an evaluation of Maine’s health reform plan, researchers Debra Lipson and Jim Verdier, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. have identified both the successes and challenges of the program. They have also considered how Maine’s experiences would serve as a lesson for other states which are exploring initiatives to expand access and provide affordable insurance.

The Cyber Seminar will begin with the presentation of the research results by Debra Lipson and Jim Verdier. Following the presentation, a discussion, facilitated by Commonwealth’s Rachel Nuzum will be held with Trish Riley and Karynlee Harrington from the state of Maine and Enrique Martinez-Vidal from SCI in which the research findings and analysis of the policy implications will be considered in a state policy context. We will then open the lines for questions and comments.

More information about how to register for the Cyber Seminar will be forthcoming shortly.