Medicaid Expansion

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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.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, a chief architect of the state's new Medicaid expansion program, is pushing back against financial concerns raised by mental health and substance abuse treatment providers.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

A bill to continue New Hampshire's expanded Medicaid program for another five years is on its way to the desk of Republican Gov. Chris Sununu.

The current program uses Medicaid funds to purchase private health plans for about 50,000 low-income residents, but it will expire this year if lawmakers don't reauthorize it.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: May 11, 2018

May 10, 2018

The state's new Child Advocate launches an investigation into the Sununu Youth Center following allegations of a pattern of illegal use of restraints on juveniles there.  For the third time this year, the New Hampshire House of Representatives votes against a bill to create education savings accounts. Voting laws and Medicaid expansion are on the governor's desk to be signed into law.  And it's that time of year - bears are out, looking for easy pickings at your bird-feeder...even in Manchester.

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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.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: May 4, 2018

May 4, 2018

Statehouse lawmakers make decisions on a number of contentious issues, including Medicaid Expansion, education freedom accounts, voting eligibility, transgender rights, and marriage age.  The House-passed version of an animal cruelty bill conflicts with the Senate version - compromise is necessary, but is it likely?  And two more candidates enter the crowded race for Congress in the first congressional district.

NHPR File Photo

In a swift vote with no floor debate, the New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a plan to continue the state's Medicaid expansion for at least another two and a half years — and potentially as long as five.

The relatively smooth path for the Medicaid expansion bill this time around marks a stark contrast from past years, when the issue drew much more prolonged and partisan debate. The inclusion of a work requirement and a new funding scheme to avoid using state tax dollars helped to win over more Republicans this time around.

Sara Plourde/NHPR

A plan to extend New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion another five years cleared a major hurdle in the House of Representatives on Thursday. The House approved the bill by a vote of 222-125, over the objections of some Republicans who argued Medicaid expansion has been a failure and has driven up health insurance costs.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: March 23, 2018

Mar 23, 2018

In a visit to Manchester this week, President Trump discusses efforts to combat the opioid crisis and floats the idea of the death penalty for drug traffickers.  With the deadline for bills in the legislature to "crossover" from one chamber to the other, we look at which bills struggled, which sailed through, and what is still up for debate.  Plus,  a last-minute attempt to change the Granite State’s gun laws.

istock photo

The plan to keep New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion in tact for another five years got its first hearing in the House on Tuesday. Patients, health providers and other supporters spent hours urging lawmakers not to let the program expire at the end of this year.

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.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: February 23, 2018

Feb 22, 2018

After the Parkland Florida school shooting, police respond to a number of threats at high schools in New Hampshire, and the House of Representatives votes down a bill would have allowed firearms on state college campuses.  Senate Republicans propose a bill to reauthorize Medicaid expansion for another five years.  And a bill to raise the minimum marriage age in New Hampshire to 16 years of age is headed for a full House vote. 

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.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House has voted to send a bill that would reauthorize the state's version of Medicaid expansion for further study, giving it an uncertain future.

This bill would have reauthorized the New Hampshire Health Protection Program, the state's program that provides health insurance coverage for over 50,000 low-income adults who do not qualify for Medicaid. If not reauthorized, the program will end on Dec. 31.

The House on Thursday agreed with a committee recommendation that more work is required to create a program that taxpayers can support.

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. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The Weekly N.H. News Roundup on The Exchange hit the road this week and recorded before a live audience at The Barley House in Concord. The show airs at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m Friday.

Click here to see photos from the event

Host Peter Biello also fielded questions from the audience, including two about marijuana legislation.

In new guidelines released by the Trump Administration, states including New Hampshire will now be allowed to impose work requirements on some recipients of Medicaid.

Allegra Boverman

A massive winter storm is moving along the eastern seaboard on Thursday.

 Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Gov. Chris Sununu about how New Hampshire is preparing for the storm and how to access assistance in a case of an emergency.


Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire's Senate President Chuck Morse says work on Medicaid expansion in 2018 will be a balancing act that weighs federal requirements, fiscal impact on the state, and critical services.

“In any case we have to make sure that we protect the New Hampshire taxpayers,” he says.

It's clear that Medicaid remains a top priority for both Republicans and Democrats on the opening day of the legislative session Wednesday.

The common ground is agreement that Medicaid expansion is playing a role in helping the state combat the opioid crisis.

The question of whether to continue New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion program is shaping up to be one of the biggest policy debates on deck.

There are three broad paths on the table.

A cohort of mostly Republicans has opposed the program all along and are likely to continue fighting for repeal. One bill with largely Democratic support would extend the program permanently.

Allison Quantz for NHPR

A committee of lawmakers, health and insurance officials studying the future of New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion voted unanimously on Wednesday to recommend moving the program toward a managed care model in 2019 and beyond.

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas and candidate Joyce Craig spent a good portion of  Thursday debate on NHPR’s The Exchange talking about the opioid crisis.

The two candidates more or less saw eye to eye on the issue - that is, except when it came to re-upping Medicaid expansion.

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.

On this episode: The lottery game keno heads to individual cities for approval by voters. Supporters hope it will boost local economies, while critics worry about gambling. And later in the show, Senator Jeb Bradley updates us on efforts to improve Medicaid Expansion. 


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.

Garrett Vonk

New Hampshire has a long history of coming up with solutions to fund its Medicaid program that — depending on how you look at it — are either creative or a little crooked. The most recent example can be seen in the plan lawmakers came up with to fund the state’s share of Medicaid expansion for the last two years.

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