New Hampshire Senate Passes Medicaid Expansion Bill with Work Requirements
March 2018 ~
The New Hampshire Senate recently passed a bill reauthorizing the state’s Medicaid expansion program to continue for another five years, transition to managed care in 2019, and imposes member work requirements.
The Senate voted 17-7 to continue the program for five years and will impose new work requirements on enrollees and use 5% of liquor revenues to cover the state’s cost as federal funding decreases. The state Medicaid program currently provides coverage to approximately 50,000 low-income people and relies on voluntarily contributions from insurance companies and hospitals.
New Hampshire’s Governor Chris Sununu praised the bill, calling it a fiscally responsible New Hampshire plan.
“The importance of this piece of legislation is so meaningful to every one of us, and the people we represent,” said Senator Lou D’Allesandro of the bill. “We have crafted a way to deliver this service. It’s innovative, it’s creative, and it’s going to make a difference.”
State representative Jeb Bradley said continuing the program will give the state a much better opportunity to deal with the twin problems of mental health and substance abuse by providing continuity of care and a predictable, known funding stream. Bradley also commented on the number of people who spoke at a public hearing about how the program has affected them, noting that of the 130,000 who have been enrolled at some point since the expansion took effect in 2014, only 15,000 people have been enrolled the entire time.
“To me, that’s success. As their lives have changed, as their lives have improved, exactly what we want to see has happened: They have transitioned off this helping hand onto other forms of insurance,” Bradley said. “That’s success, and that’s why we should reauthorize it.”
The bill now moves on to the House for review.
Source(s): Associated Press; U.S. News;