Medicaid

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Last August the New Hampshire legislature passed a bill that would allow schools to be reimbursed for part of the costs associated with things like speech therapy, mental health counseling and nursing for all students who qualify for Medicaid.

Previously that reimbursement was only available for some students who qualify for Medicaid. But schools are not yet taking advantage of this additional federal money. 

A federal judge blocked work requirements in the state of Kentucky's Medicaid program last Friday.

New Hampshire has similar requirements as part of its renewed Medicaid expansion.

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu has signed a bill to continue New Hampshire's expanded Medicaid program for another five years.

The current program uses Medicaid funds to purchase private health plans for about 50,000 low-income residents. It would have expired this year if lawmakers didn't reauthorize it.

The bill also changes its structure to a more cost-effective managed care model. The plan also imposes new work requirements on enrollees and use 5 percent of liquor revenues to cover the state's cost as federal funding decreases.

Savannah Maher/NHPR

Representatives from six state-supported addiction treatment centers gathered at the Statehouse today to rally against decreased Medicaid reimbursement rates. The change, brought on by a switch in the way Medicaid recipients are insured, will take effect next year.

Providers say it will force them to cut services and eliminate inpatient beds instead of expanding to address New Hampshire's opioid epidemic. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Starting in 2019, people getting health insurance through New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion program will have to comply with a new work and “community engagement” requirement in order to continue receiving coverage. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that oversees Medicaid programs across the country, formally approved New Hampshire’s request to add the requirements on Monday.

After nearly two full hours of floor debate, the New Hampshire Senate green-lit a plan to keep New Hampshire's Medicaid expansion going for another five years.

Sara Plourde for NHPR

A plan to extend New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion will have its first big test on Thursday, when it goes before the full Senate for a vote.

A Medicaid rule that's been on the books since the program was created bars states from using federal money on care provided in many residential mental health and substance use treatment facilities with more than 16 beds.

Casey McDermott / NHPR

People traveled from all corners of the state Tuesday afternoon to urge New Hampshire lawmakers to renew Medicaid expansion, which is set to expire at the end of this year.

Sara Plourde/NHPR

Supporters and opponents alike are gearing up for a high-stakes battle over the future of the of the state’s Medicaid expansion to start in earnest next week — when Senate Republicans will formally present their plan for extending the program another five years.

N.H. Medicaid Update

Feb 7, 2018

We learn the latest about new Medicaid guidelines released by the Trump Administration, in which states, including New Hampshire, will now be allowed to impose work requirements on some recipients of Medicaid. State lawmakers are currently debating whether to extend the Medicaid expansion program beyond the end of 2018, when it is due to sunset. 

TORBAKHOPPER / Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire House lawmakers are considering two bills on the topic of gender reassignment surgery.

One bill would prohibit gender reassignment surgery for anyone under age 18. The other would prohibit Medicaid from paying for sex reassignment surgery, drugs or hormone therapy.

Twitter

Governor Sununu says he supports the GOP tax bill working its way through the Senate, calling it a “net positive” for the majority of low and middle income families in America.

Sununu met Wednesday with Vice President Mike Pence to talk about the tax plan, as well as New Hampshire’s Medicaid program and ongoing opioid crisis.

Residents of a Vermont nursing home are looking for new places to live after learning the facility is closing at the end of November.

The Valley News reports that Brookside Health and Rehabilitation Center in White River Junction notified residents Wednesday, five days after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced it would end payments for patient care at the 67-bed facility.

torbakhopper on Flickr

New Hampshire’s Medicaid program will no longer ban insurance coverage for sex reassignment surgery.

Until now, New Hampshire's Medicaid program explicitly blocked such coverage. The Department of Health and Human Services asked lawmakers for permission to take out the language, citing anti-discrimination mandates within the Affordable Care Act. 

New Hampshire lawmakers are getting more information about their options as they consider the fate of the state's expanded Medicaid program.

Medicaid expansion, made possible through President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law, subsidizes health care for low-income people. Federal officials recently expressed concern that the state may be out of compliance with federal rules because it relied on voluntary contributions from insurance companies and hospitals to cover some of the state's costs to put people on private insurance.

New Hampshire is once again trying to be the first state to get federal approval to add work requirements to its Medicaid expansion program. This comes a year after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rejected a similar request — albeit under a different administration.

Sara Plourde/NHPR

Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeff Meyers said he made multiple attempts throughout 2016 to clarify whether the federal government approved of New Hampshire’s use of provider donations to fund its current Medicaid expansion plan — but the agency never gave him a definitive "yes" or "no" answer last year.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: August 18, 2017

Aug 17, 2017

Continued fallout and reactions to events in Charlottesville, VA, dominate the headlines this week. New Hampshire politicians respond to the President’s ambiguous statements on white supremacy. And yes, there are white supremacists here in New Hampshire. 

In other news, the federal government says New Hampshire's Medicaid funding mechanism might be illegal. Manchester is considering filing its own lawsuit against an opioid company for its alleged role in the state opioid crisis.


Work requirements under the federal health insurance program Medicaid are based on a simple premise: If you want to receive government assistance for your healthcare and you’re able to work, you should work.

Crotched Mountain Foundation

Crotched Mountain Foundation's board voted Monday to close its longtime specialty hospital in Greenfield, likely by the end of August.

josh rogers/nhpr

Budget writers in the New Hampshire Senate are predicting Medicaid caseload will drop over the next two years.  But underestimating caseloads in the program that benefits the poor helped cause the current state budget shortfall.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price will be in Concord Wednesday as part of a multi-state ‘listening session' on the opioid epidemic.

Thomas Fearon

Every day, an email goes out to leaders in New Hampshire’s mental health system. It gives an updated count on the number of people in immediate need of inpatient psychiatric care, but are being denied that care because of a shortage of beds in New Hampshire hospitals.

On February 20th of this year, that email contained a staggering number: 68 adults and children were being housed in hospital emergency rooms and hallways because of a lack of available beds. It was a new high.

Allegra Boverman for New Hampshire Public Radio

For conservatives, the idea makes common sense: Require people who receive government assistance, such as food stamps, to hold a job or engage in community service.  Opponents, however, say this ignores challenges facing a population already weighed down by poverty. A bill in the Senate, SB7, would change income eligibility for food stamps, and includes some work requirements.  Opponents say it would exclude thousands of Granite Staters in need of assistance, but supporters argue it focuses on those truly in need.  


AARP Takes Stand Against GOP Healthcare Overhaul

Mar 10, 2017

AARP is taking a stand against the proposed healthcare overhall making its way through the House of Representatives.

AARP claims 233,000 members in New Hampshire, and the group says it basically doesn't like anything about the bill proposed by Congressional Republicans. On a conference all with reporters Thursday, AARP Legislative Policy Director David Certner said the bill would downshift the cost of healthcare to families and state government.

Allison Quantz for NHPR

The New Hampshire Hospital Association has won a court case against the federal government. It could mean more public money going to hospitals to cover the cost of providing uncompensated care.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  With the future of Obamacare unclear, and GOP talk of converting Medicaid, which serves 186,000 people in New Hampshire, to a block grant system, Senator Hassan is reminding colleagues past and present that she sees changes to the program, particularly the end of expanded Medicaid, a grave threat.

NHPR Staff

President Trump and Congressional Republicans are considering transforming  Medicaid - which provides health services to millions of low income people - to a block grant program. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu is pitching the potential change as a way to better serve local needs, but it’s also one that carries risk.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu says New Hampshire's expanded Medicaid program has been a success. That conclusion is a shift from his prior statements about the program, which has provided health insurance to more than 50,000 Granite Staters.

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