- Associated Press - Sunday, December 16, 2018

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine could receive $65 million in federal pass-through funding for a state reinsurance program aimed at reducing health insurance premiums and reducing the uninsured population.

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Nov. 30 said the final amount will depend on whether Maine expands Medicaid eligibility in 2019. Voter-approved expansion could shrink enrollment in Maine’s individual market by 19 percent.

Maine’s reinsurance program first launched in 2011 but a similar federal Affordable Care Act plan replaced it. States have used “reinsurance” programs to help insurers afford to cover their most seriously ill, expensive consumers.

The program redistributes insurance money in part by charging a $4 per-person fee on individual and group plans. About $37 million in premiums would be re-directed from seriously ill patients to “invisible high-risk pool.”

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