New Hampshire House Passes Alternate Medicaid Expansion Plan

The New Hampshire House has passed a bill to expand health insurance coverage for low-income residents through private plans using federal Medicaid expansion funds.

The legislation would extend coverage to approximately 50,000 people using federal Medicaid expansion funding available through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to the report. Its passage would make New Hampshire one of several states (such as Arkansas) that is moving forward with private-insurance-based alternatives to regular Medicaid expansion.

Under the bill, adults younger than 65 earning as much as 138 percent of the federal poverty level (roughly $15,900 for a single person) would qualify for coverage. About 12,000 would be covered through subsidized employer-based insurance. Approximately 38,000 more would be covered by the state's existing Medicaid managed care program in July and transition to private plans in 2016.

The state Senate passed the bill earlier this month. New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan (D) has released a statement praising lawmakers' passage of the legislation and saying she looks forward to signing it "as quickly as possible." The plan still requires federal approval to move forward.

The New Hampshire Hospital Association President Steve Ahnen has also released a statement lauding the measure as "a great step forward for patients, providers, businesses and our state’s economy."

"By extending private health insurance coverage to more low-income, uninsured New Hampshire residents, we are taking steps to address one of the biggest challenges facing our businesses and healthcare system today — the rising cost of uncompensated care and the hidden tax that we all pay to support those without coverage who seek care in our hospital emergency rooms," Mr. Ahnen said.

More Articles on Medicaid Expansion:
New Hampshire Medicaid Expansion Alternative Clears Senate
Arkansas House Reauthorizes Insurance Program for Low-Income Residents
Analysis Estimates PPACA Medicaid Enrollment at 2.4M to 3.5M 

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