New Hampshire Hospitals Say Medicaid Expansion Is Working

May 25, 2015

Credit Garrett Vonk

  The number of uninsured people showing up in New Hampshire emergency rooms continues to drop _ a trend hospital officials attribute to the state's expanded Medicaid program. 

Under the plan lawmakers passed last year, adults making less than 138 percent of the federal poverty limit _ about $15,900 a year _ are eligible for Medicaid. More than 39,000 have signed up since enrollment began July 1. 

The New Hampshire Hospital Association says that between April 2014 and March 2015, the number of emergency room patients without insurance dropped 22 percent compared to the previous year, while the total number of patients increased slightly. 

Coverage under the expansion program ends if federal funding drops below 100 percent and ends regardless at the end of 2016 if the Legislature doesn't reauthorize it.