Grant Project Title
Implementing Maine's Full Adult Dental MediCare Benefit
Grantee Address

Maine Equal Justice Partners
126 Sewall Street
Augusta, ME
United States

Maine Equal Justice Partners (MEJP) is a civic legal aid and economic justice organization that works to increase economic security, opportunity, and equity for people and Maine. This is accomplished through direct legal services and advocacy for fair public policies.

Maine Equal Justice Partners celebrated a win last year with legislation passed to add full adult dental benefits into MaineCare in 2022. MEJP will shift its efforts from advocacy toward implementation of the benefit, which goes live on July 1, 2022. MEJP will host listening sessions and perform surveys with Medicaid beneficiaries prior to the “rulemaking” process for the benefit in order to anticipate and address potential challenges to accessing the new benefit. Information, consumer stories and feedback will also be gathered from partner organizations representing low-income workers, immigrants and African American Mainers. These will be shared with the MaineCare Advisory Committee and MAC Dental Subcommittee, for which MEJP serves as chair. MEJP will also submit written comments to MaineCare throughout the rulemaking process. Following July 1 benefit implementation, Maine Equal Justice will focus its work on education and outreach to MaineCare beneficiaries newly eligible for full dental benefits. This awareness campaign will involve creation of a video, a traditional and earned media plan, and responsive consumer education materials translated into at least four languages. Maine Equal Justice will continue to assess consumer needs surrounding the new benefit after July 1 through the MAC Dental Subcommittee, and through the issues brought to organization’s own direct legal services team.

Simultaneously, Maine Equal Justice will advocate for MaineCare coverage for low-income adults who currently cannot access Medicaid due to federal restrictions based on immigration status through their “All Means All” campaign. Similar to MEJ’s adult dental campaign, they will partner with directly impacted people, immigrant-led organizations and other key advocacy and healthcare partners to implement a communications plan, collect consumer stories, and develop advocacy materials. MEJ and partners will identify and educate legislators using these developed materials. Lastly, MEJ will introduce develop and introduce legislation before June of 2023.

Around $77,000 of the budget is allocated for staff time, including a newly hired communications assistant to be dedicated to funded work. Notably, $5,000 of the budget is allocated toward childcare and stipends for consumer advocates, and the remainder is for meeting-related and communications expenses. This request represents 6% of the organization’s overall budget.

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