WASHINGTON  —  U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says Maine will be getting financial relief under the federal stimulus act to offset the cost of Medicare prescription drug coverage for state residents eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.

She estimates the relief in Maine will total nearly $28 million. The financial break is retroactive to October 2008 and extends for the rest of this year.

Sebelius says the funding will help Maine and other states continue to provide health services without breaking their budgets.

The federal stimulus law allows significant but temporary increases in the amount states receive to help pay for their Medicaid programs.