This report describes the results of a telephone survey of enrollees in the MaineCare Option for Workers with Disabilities (MaineCare is Maine's Medicaid program, the Workers Option is one of a growing number of state initiatives across the country that are referred to as Medicaid Buy-In programs).The Workers Option is a MaineCare eligibility category that provides full MaineCare coverage for working people with disabilities who have countable income up to 250% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and who do not have unearned income above 100% FPL. The purpose of the Workers Option is to encourage people with disabilities to increase their job earnings without fear of losing health coverage. It is authorized under the federal Balanced Budget Act of 1997, one of two ways that states can develop Medicaid-related work incentives of this type. Maine's Bureau of Elder and Adult Services (BEAS), Maine Department of Human Services, commissioned the survey to find out more about the people who were or ever had been enrolled in the Workers Option. BEAS wanted to know about their work experience, their support services needs (particularly their use of personal assistant services), and their opinions and concerns about receiving health coverage under the Workers Option.
Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy
MaineCare Option for Workers with Disabilities: A Survey of Past and Present Enrolleess
Cutler Institute awarded $600,000 to help youth raised in foster system
USM's Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy has been awarded a $600,000 grant to help young people raised in Maine's foster system to prepare for college and the workforce.
The money comes from the Annie E. Casey Foundation as part of a $5.4 million national effort aimed at youth who are homeless or in either the foster care or juvenile justice systems.
"Many of these young people have suffered abuse or trauma and were raised in poverty and neglect," said Marty Zanghi, the Cutler Center's youth development director.
The money -- including an expected $400,000 more in matching funds -- will pay for contracted work with agencies in the target areas, starting with the greater Portland area and Penobscot, Kennebec and Somerset counties.
Nationally and in Maine, only about 3 percent of people who grow up in the foster care system achieve a college degree, he said.
"It's dramatically lower than the rate for the general population," Zanghi said. "It's a horrible outcome."
It doesn't have to be that way, though.
"There are young people that overcome these circumstances," he said. "I know people who have master's degrees and Ph.Ds."
The Casey Foundation's national effort is being called the "Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential" (LEAP) initiative.
The initiative is working on partnerships in Maine and nine other areas: Alaska, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and New York. In each case, people will adapt two evidence-based models to meet the needs of these youth, including support to address the trauma they may have experienced in their lives.
In Maine, the work will include a pair of successful programs, Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG) and Jobs for the Future. Results will be carefully tracked, Zanghi said.
After the first year, the program is expected to grow.
"Eventually, the additional help will be available to all children, 14 and over, in the foster care system in the state of Maine," Zanghi said.
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Adults with Intellectual Disability or Autism Spectrum Disorder: Population and Service Use Trends in Maine, 2014 Edition provides a detailed look at the historical trends and current utilization and cost of institutional and community based services for adults with intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder.Learn More
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