Meg Garratt-Reed to head new independent agency established to analyze health care cost drivers and propose solutions for Maine people
Governor Janet Mills announced today that she has nominated Meg Garratt-Reed, Director of the Office of the Health Insurance Marketplace at the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, as Executive Director of the new Office of Affordable Health Care.
The Office of Affordable Health Care is an independent, nonpartisan executive agency intended to analyze drivers of health care costs and propose solutions to help Maine people. The Office will study health data and identify policy recommendations to improve health care affordability, quality, access and equity for individuals and families, employers, other health care payers, and State government.
Garratt-Reed currently serves as Director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Office of the Health Insurance Marketplace, which operates CoverME.gov. Garratt-Reed was instrumental in launching CoverME.gov as a fully State-run health insurance marketplace in 2021, overseeing the successful transition of the marketplace from a hybrid Federal-State model. Maine’s greater control of its marketplace, paired with Medicaid expansion, contributed to the state having the largest decline in its uninsured rate among all states in the nation in recent years.
“Meg’s knowledge, her depth of experience, and her outstanding work to establish CoverME.gov make her an excellent candidate to lead the new Office of Affordable Health Care,” said Governor Janet Mills. “Maine has seen the largest decline in its uninsured rate of any state in the nation in recent years. With Meg at the helm of this independent, nonpartisan organization, I believe we can continue to make headway in expanding lifesaving insurance to more people and improving health care affordability.”
“I’m honored by this nomination and the opportunity to build on Maine’s nation-leading expansion of coverage to help ensure all Maine people can afford the health care they need,” said Meg Garratt-Reed. “The Office of Affordable Health Care, working with the Governor’s office, legislators, and stakeholders, will advance solutions to bring relief from rising health care costs to Maine families and businesses in new and meaningful ways.”
Garratt-Reed previously served as senior advisor for coverage and affordability at DHHS. Prior to joining the Department, Garratt-Reed was director of policy and partnerships at United States of Care, a non-partisan non-profit organization supporting state-level efforts to expand quality, affordable health care, and served as a special assistant to the Director of Delivery System Reform in the Office of the Administrator at the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Garratt-Reed’s nomination is subject to review by the Legislature’s Health Coverage, Insurance, and Financial Services Committee and confirmation by the Maine State Senate. The director serves a five-year term.
The Office of Affordable Health Care will collaborate with the Governor’s Office, other State agencies, and a variety of stakeholders to inform its work. The Office, created by legislation sponsored by Senate President Troy Jackson, will be advised by a 13-member council including representatives of health care providers, consumers, workforce, payers and other experts.
To establish a foundation for the Office’s work, the Governor’s Office commissioned a report from the Maine Health Data Organization summarizing recent trends in expenditures and health care quality in Maine. This report will serve as a baseline to begin to inform the discussion on health care payments and health care quality in Maine.
DHHS has launched a search for a new Director for the Office of the Health Insurance Marketplace.
A photo of Garratt-Reed is attached.