Articles by Lindsay Tice

Kevin Lewis, CEO of Maine Community Health Options in Lewiston

Maine’s only health insurance co-op sues feds over $23 million

By Lindsay Tice on Aug. 10, 2016, at 2:34 p.m.
Community Health Options, the state’s only health insurance co-op, has filed a lawsuit against the federal government claiming it owes the co-op nearly $23 million in promised payments.
Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew

Mayhew, Riverview head to meet with legislators next month

By Lindsay Tice on Dec. 15, 2015, at 1:55 p.m.
The Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee will not have to subpoena members of the governor’s administration to compel them to answer questions about the Riverview Psychiatric Center.

Report: State record retention program in disarray

By Lindsay Tice on April 11, 2015, at 9:14 a.m.
AUGUSTA | A working group has found the state’s records retention program is in disarray, a problem that could cause public records to be destroyed — and has already been a factor in a document-shredding scandal within the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The working group found …

As Maine’s uninsured rate drops, Lewiston co-op again woos most Obamacare enrollees

By Lindsay Tice on Feb. 24, 2015, at 1:58 p.m.
LEWISTON — Over 66,000 Mainers have signed up for health insurance with Maine Community Health Options, an increase of 65 percent for the state’s only health insurance co-op. Of those people, 57,600 got insurance through the federal marketplace established by the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.” That means …
Sharon Leahy-Lind

Maine agrees to pay former CDC manager $142,000 to settle whistleblower suit

By Lindsay Tice on Feb. 17, 2015, at 5:43 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Maine Department of Health and Human Services will pay a former employee $142,500 as settlement of a federal whistleblower lawsuit. Sharon Leahy-Lind, once a division director for the Maine Center for Disease Control, sued DHHS and her bosses at the CDC after she said she was …
Sharon Leahy-Lind

Maine settles whistle-blower lawsuit with former CDC manager who said bosses told her to shred documents

By Lindsay Tice on Jan. 13, 2015, at 6:04 p.m.
LEWISTON | The former division director who said her bosses at the Maine Center for Disease Control ordered her to shred public documents, and then harassed and retaliated against her when she refused, has settled her lawsuit. Lawyer Cynthia Dill said Tuesday that her clients — former director of …
Barb Gabri

Barb Gabri of Lewiston: ‘Rolling the dice’ without insurance

By Lindsay Tice on Jan. 04, 2015, at 6:11 a.m.
Name: Barb Gabri Age: 55 Location: Lewiston Insurance for 2014: EmployerStory continues below advertisement. Barb Gabri isn’t a fan of the Affordable Care Act. At least she hasn’t seen it help many people — particularly families that earn too much for government assistance but not enough to pay for their …
Kevin Lewis, CEO of Maine Community Health Options in Lewiston

Lewiston insurer is a national ‘rock star’

By Lindsay Tice on Jan. 04, 2015, at 6:04 a.m.
When Kevin Lewis helped start Maine Community Health Options in 2011, the health insurance co-op had no employees and no one banging down the door looking for health insurance (it didn’t actually have a door, either). No one knew how a health insurance co-op would do in …

36,000 Mainers pick Obamacare insurance plans

By Lindsay Tice on Dec. 30, 2014, at 1:50 p.m.
During the first month of open enrollment, more than 36,000 Mainers signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace. According to a report released Tuesday by the federal Department of Health and Human Services, 61 percent of those people re-enrolled in a marketplace plan, while 39 percent …

Answers to frequently asked questions about the Affordable Care Act

By Lindsay Tice on Dec. 29, 2014, at 5:41 a.m.
What is this “Affordable Care Act” of which you speak? It’s a controversial, 900-plus-page federal law (officially the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) that was signed by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. It makes sweeping changes to health care, such as requiring almost all Americans to have …

Sherri Tripp: ‘I think it’s wonderful’

By Lindsay Tice on Dec. 28, 2014, at 9:42 a.m.
Name: The Tripp Family Ages: Sherri, 49, Barry, 51, and Jasper, 20 Location: Old Orchard Beach Insurance in 2014: The ACA marketplaceStory continues below advertisement. Sherri and Barry Tripp hadn’t had insurance for years. The couple tried. And paid. To the tune of $1,200 a month — for a plan …

Blake Pooler: Finally insured, for $160 a month

By Lindsay Tice on Dec. 28, 2014, at 9:38 a.m.
Name: Blake Pooler Age: 34 Location: Augusta Insurance in 2014: NoneStory continues below advertisement. Blake Pooler found health insurance because of Hulu. A self-employed carpenter, he’d checked out insurance before, but he always found the prices “unrealistic” — $500, $600 a month — to cover him alone. He just couldn’t …

From ‘hellish’ to health care: The Affordable Care Act in Maine 1 year later

By Lindsay Tice on Dec. 28, 2014, at 5:19 a.m.
A little over a year ago, things weren’t going very well for the Affordable Care Act. For some Mainers, “hellish” might have been the right word. The website for the federal insurance marketplace kept failing. Phone lines jammed for the popular new health insurance co-op in Lewiston. Overall, it took …
Sharon Leahy-Lind of Portland purchased a "multi-state" health insurance plan that she was told would provide coverage outside of Maine. Leahy-Lind would later find out that the surgery she needed in Boston would not be covered.

When health insurance goes wrong … and what you can do about it

By Lindsay Tice on Sept. 28, 2014, at 9:48 a.m.
PORTLAND | Sharon Leahy-Lind was certain her new health insurance plan would pay for doctors outside Maine. After all, she specifically asked about that when she called the federal marketplace to buy new health insurance. Her daughter went to college in Massachusetts and she needed a plan that would …
Sharon Leahy-Lind, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control's Division of Local Public Health, sent a complaint of discrimination to the Maine Human Rights Commission alleging, among other things, that her bosses ordered her to destroy documents.

‘Maybe you shouldn’t have talked to the newspapers’: Second plaintiff added to federal whistleblower lawsuit against Maine CDC officials

By Lindsay Tice on Sept. 19, 2014, at 2:41 p.m.
A second employee is suing the Maine Center for Disease Control. A federal court judge ruled Friday that office manager Katie Woodbury can join the whistle-blower lawsuit filed by the former Maine CDC division director who first raised questions about document shredding within the department. The judge also allowed two …

Maine DHHS reverses plan to cut funds for mental health, substance abuse services

By Lindsay Tice on Sept. 12, 2014, at 4:58 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Maine Department of Health and Human Services no longer plans to cut money from mental health and substance abuse agencies. However, questions remain about the funding mistake that prompted the warning of cuts and whether money needs to be made up somewhere else. DHHS notified mental …

Bought and sold: Sex trafficking in Maine

By Lindsay Tice on Aug. 24, 2014, at 9:11 a.m.
“Cat” was a teenager when it started. Her parents had kicked her out when she was 15. With no family and no place to go, she landed in Lewiston, surviving any way she could. At 19, she thought she’d found a relationship and, finally, a home. Right up until her …
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage administration wants adults without children to work to get food stamps

By Lindsay Tice on July 23, 2014, at 1:30 p.m.
AUGUSTA | After a five-year break, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services plans once again to require childless adults to work in order to receive help through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. The department announced Wednesday that it will require work, …
The state of Maine has set a retroactive 2-year cap for those on MaineCare and taking methadone.

More money, less money: The effects of not expanding MaineCare

By Lindsay Tice on July 20, 2014, at 6:18 a.m.
The head of the Portland Community Health Center and her chief financial officer sat down last week to figure out which bills they could pay. They don’t have the money to pay all of them. More than half of their patients are uninsured, up from about 30 percent a few …

Legislative committee lays out plan to prevent repeat of Maine CDC document-shredding scandal

By Lindsay Tice on June 26, 2014, at 6:27 p.m.
AUGUSTA | A legislative committee on Thursday took steps to resolve its months-long document-shredding probe and to ensure the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s shredding scandal doesn’t happen again to that department or any others in Maine. The Government Oversight Committee voted Thursday to: — Ask the …