Settlement reached in Maine Medicaid class-action lawsuit

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As many as 1,000 people with disabilities will receive long-awaited services under Maine’s Medicaid program, under the terms of a settlement finalized on December 1 in state court.

The class-action lawsuit, filed in January 2013, argued that the state was violating federal Medicaid law by failing to fully fund two programs paid for by MaineCare, the state’s Medicaid program.

The first program provided various home-based services, designed to allow people to live in their homes without having to be institutionalized. The second program provides other services, such as job training and counseling, that is supposed to allow people to live independently.

When the lawsuit was filed, as many as 1,000 people were on the waiting list for these programs, some since as long ago as 2008.

“Many of these people were desperate, and they absolutely needed these services,” said Nancy Cronin, executive director of the Maine Developmental Rights Council, told the Bangor Daily News. “It really was very bad for many of them.”

The lawsuit was finalized in Kennebec County Superior Court. The plaintiffs were represented by Gerald Petruccelli of Petruccelli, Martin & Haddow LLP.