Janet Mills announced Tuesday 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.

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.