Medicaid Expansion

State officials say they are halting their efforts to educate people about a new Medicaid work requirement, now that a federal judge has blocked its implementation.

The state health department had been going door-to-door in an effort to reach roughly 17,000 New Hampshire residents who did not comply with the requirement in its first month.

On Monday, a federal judge in Washington D.C. said the Trump administration was in error when it allowed New Hampshire to impose the work requirement on certain Medicaid expansion beneficiaries.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Oral arguments are scheduled Tuesday morning in a federal lawsuit challenging New Hampshire's Medicaid work requirement.

The class-action lawsuit charges that the Trump administration exceeded its authority by allowing New Hampshire to implement the work requirement. 

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

New Hampshire’s congressional delegation is speaking out against a federal lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 

The case, Texas v. U.S., will be heard in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday. It is brought by 18 states that say the individual mandate requiring people to purchase health insurance is unconstitutional. 

A ruling in their favor could overturn the Affordable Care Act entirely, a goal of many Republicans in Congress and the Trump administration.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

As a new work requirement for beneficiaries of New Hampshire’s expanded Medicaid program takes effect this month, some in the healthcare industry say early signs are pointing to a bumpy road ahead.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

A bill that seeks to limit the impact of a controversial new Medicaid work requirement is now headed to Governor Chris Sununu’s desk.

The so-called community engagement requirement is set to take effect in June. It will require some low-income people who get their health insurance through the state's expanded Medicaid program to complete 100 hours of work or other qualifying activities each month or risk losing their coverage.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Lawmakers in the New Hampshire House heard testimony Wednesday on a bill that would roll back some elements of a controversial new Medicaid work requirement.

The new work requirement, set to fully kick in this summer, will require some people who get their health insurance through expanded Medicaid to complete 100 hours of qualifying activities each month or risk losing that coverage.

NHPR Photo

 

Low-income residents of New Hampshire are suing the federal government over the state's work requirements for those enrolled under Medicaid expansion.

The National Health Law Program, New Hampshire Legal Assistance and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice sued on behalf of a 26-year-old sporting goods store cashier, a 40-year-old who does seasonal work and lives off the land, as well as a couple with three children.

Sara Plourde For NHPR

New Hampshire has joined a handful of states that mandate some Medicaid recipients to engage in certain activities: for example, a job, school, or community services. But recent federal changes tightening certain aspects of the program, as well as proposed legislation, have renewed debate over the Granite State's approach. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

An effort to undo a new work-requirement in the state's Medicaid expansion program went before lawmakers today.

The work requirement was part of a bipartisan compromise that re-authorized expanded Medicaid last session.

Starting next month some Medicaid Expansion recipients will need to complete 100 hours of work or volunteer work each month or risk losing their health coverage.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A new report from the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities argues the rollout of New Hampshire's work requirement for expanded Medicaid beneficiaries is doomed to the same problems that have hampered a similar policy in Arkansas.

Dan Tuohy/NHPR

State lawmakers are pushing back against changes made by the Trump administration to a new work requirement in the state’s expanded Medicaid program.

Members of the committee that oversees administrative rules unanimously objected to the changes the Trump administration introduced when it approved the work requirement for Medicaid expansion last month.

Sara Plourde for NHPR

State officials say they are still working out how much it will cost to enforce a newly approved work requirement for some beneficiaries of New Hampshire's expanded Medicaid program.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved a request by the state of New Hampshire to implement a work requirement for some Medicaid recipients in the state.

The new rules will require certain Medicaid recipients to log at least 100 hours a month in qualifying activities, including but not limited to holding a job, going to school, or participating in community service.

Certain populations, like people participating in a drug court program, or the parent of a dependent child with a disability, are exempted from the work requirement.

Congressional 1st District candidates Eddie Edwards and Chris Pappas met last night at a debate in Manchester hosted by WMUR-TV

Despite toeing their party lines, the two candidates both said they were ready to work across the aisle and bring New Hampshire ideals to a broken system in Washington.

Some highlights of the debate include:

Via audio-luci | Flickr Creative Commons

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.

WATCH THE SHOW:

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.

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