Maine launches new site to explain federal health care reform benefits

Maine residents will now be able to go online to learn about the benefits of federal health care reform. The state launched a new website yesterday which offers a full outline of the Affordable Care Act as well as Maine’s plan for implementation. The site will provide updated information about the state’s efforts with health care reform as well as meeting information from the Joint Select Committee on Health Care Reform and Implementation and federal resources.

The Affordable Care Act has a broad array of new responsibilities for states for health care service delivery. In response to these new requirements, Maine created a steering committee on health reform which is tasked with examining the federal law and creating a plan for implementation. In order to make this process more transparent and informative to the public, Governor Baldacci launched the website to make the information clear and easily accessible.

Maine’s 2010-2012 State Health Plan calls for the Steering Committee on Health Reform and the Advisory Council on Health Systems Development (a stakeholder group) to provide their analysis of options of the federal law and make recommendations to the in-coming Administration and the Joint Select Committee on Health Reform. Materials from these meetings will be available on the website.

The Committees will also be looking at ways to maximize Maine’s eligibility for federal funding on health care issues and hopes that the website will be a tool for Maine residents to maximize health care benefits for themselves as well.

“The federal health care reform law provides new opportunities for Maine to cover more uninsured and address the cost and quality of health care,” said Trish Riley, Director of the Governor’s Office of Health Policy and Finance. “This Web site will help Mainers become familiar with these opportunities and see what actions the State is taking in response to the new law.”

Even if you don’t live in Maine the site offers a fairly clear explanation of the benefits available under the Affordable Care Act that we’ve seen. The full site is available here.