Crowds turn out for Medicaid Expansion -- click here for a look at the highlights of the day in photos, tweet and comments. Thanks to everyone who came out to testify or to show their support by standing with us.
NEW content has been added to the Consumer Assistance and Navigator Resource Page -- Links to Information Resources, FAQs, Applications, Videos, etc.
NH VOICES Testimony on the Senate Bill on Medicaid Expansion
Testimony delivered by Tom Bunnell, Esq. before a special Senate Committee, Nov. 12, 2013
I want to begin by thanking the Senate President and sponsors for introducing, and the members of this honorable Committee for considering, a bill that proposes pathways to private health coverage for about 50,000 Granite Staters.
It’s important for me to share with you that the hardworking residents of this state to whom our organization gives voice are merely looking for quality affordable health coverage. They do not care whether the vehicle that provides such affordable coverage is Medicaid Managed Care, the Health Insurance Premium Payment (HIPP) Program, or the Exchange / Marketplace, provided it is a vehicle that works.
Our aim and concern is with helping you to ensure that the vehicles for coverage proposed by this bill are effectively coordinated and do work. This measure has a few ambiguities and shortcomings that we do want to respectfully bring to your attention, along with some constructive suggestions for clarity and resolution. CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire House and Senate met today to launch the special session aimed at passing legislation to enable Medicaid Expansion to move forward in 2014.
To read the testimony in full, click here.
Click here to read:
Real Reasons Why
NH Can't Wait for Medicaid Expansion"
To read the Joint Statement to NH Lawmakers signed by more than 100 NH businesses and organizations, click here.
NH VOICES Statement Concerning Medicaid Expansion
Study Commission Meeting -- July 30, 2013
CONCORD, NH – The Medicaid Study Commission heard from the state Department of Insurance today as commission members sought to broaden their understanding of options under the Affordable Care Act to extend Medicaid to more hardworking families.
“It’s clear our Medicaid program can dovetail with private market insurance in several key ways. Without the need for any federal waivers, the state is free to help low-income families maintain their private employer-sponsored coverage. In addition, extending Medicaid to another 48,000 people may be critical to keeping the state’s private managed care initiative on track and cost effective because those companies were counting on certain economies of scale,” said Tom Bunnell, policy consultant for New Hampshire Voices for Health.
Bunnell noted that in addition to other savings, the state Department of Health and Human Services estimates that the private managed care companies that contracted to manage the state’s Medicaid program would pay roughly $40 million to the state in insurance premium taxes based on the additional people who’d be covered under the expansion.
The state Insurance Department has been a strong supporter of the Medicaid expansion, noting that it would reduce the number of families who are uninsured and promote the more efficient use of health care resources. The department also concluded the expansion would benefit employers who must comply with other requirements of the Affordable Care Act.
The expansion calls for the federal government to pay 100 percent of the costs to cover Granite Staters earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (earnings of about $15,000 for one person or $23,000 for a family of three) through 2016, scaling back gradually to 90 percent by 2020. It provides an opportunity for New Hampshire to receive more than $2.4 billion in federal funds to provide the security of affordable health insurance to more low-income workers and families.
“Delaying for even one calendar year would result in the loss of $228 million in federal funds for our state,” observed Bunnell. As a result, “we remain confident that when lawmakers review the results of this short-term study effort, they will be willing to move forward with a New Hampshire solution that accepts the federal funds for our state’s economy and for health coverage of hard-working Granite Staters,” he said.
For a downloadable version of this statement, click here.
NH VOICES response to Committee of Conference budget agreement that includes Medicaid expansion study
June 20, 2013. CONCORD, NH – Today’s bipartisan state budget agreement establishes a study commission that will report back on Medicaid expansion by October 15, 2013.
Attribute the following to Tom Bunnell, Policy Consultant, New Hampshire Voices for Health (VOICES):
“Today, a Committee of Conference on the state budget took an important step forward by agreeing to a study commission that will report back on New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion opportunity by October 15.
“While we are disappointed that the Senate was unwilling to move forward immediately with a decision to accept the federal funds for Medicaid expansion, we respect and appreciate the agreement to engage in brief and timely study that will allow for legislative action, via special session, shortly thereafter.
"The opportunity to accept the available federal funds to extend health coverage to 58,000 Granite Staters is not about politics. It is about making a real difference in people’s lives, addressing uncompensated care, and benefiting New Hampshire’s economy.
“Every day that our state delays after January 1, 2014 would cost New Hampshire, and hard-working Granite Staters, $1 million a day in federal funds.
“We are confident that, when Senate members review the results of this short-term study, they will be willing to move forward, in expedited fashion, with accepting the federal funds for health coverage of hard-working New Hampshire citizens and for our state’s economy.”
For a downloadable version of this statement, click here.
NH VOICES’ Response to Senate Finance Chair on Medicaid Expansion
JUNE 14, 2013. CONCORD, NH – At the beginning of today’s Committee of Conference meeting on House Bill 1 and 2, Senate Finance Chair Chuck Morse announced that the Senate will not support expanding Medicaid in New Hampshire.
Attribute the following to Tom Bunnell, Policy Consultant, New Hampshire Voices for Health:
“The Committee of Conference is a negotiation. The two other parties to that negotiation – the Governor and the House of Representatives &? are strong and unequivocal supporters of accepting the federal funds to expand Medicaid in New Hampshire.
"The opportunity to accept available federal funds to extend health coverage to 58,000 Granite Staters is not about politics. It is about making a real difference in people’s lives, addressing uncompensated care, and benefiting New Hampshire’s economy.
“Delaying for just one year means that New Hampshire would lose $340 million dollars in available federal funds for health coverage for hard-working citizens in our state.
“We are expecting lawmakers to set politics aside, and to do their very best to reach an agreement that benefits working families. That’s ‘the New Hampshire way’.”
For a downloadable version of this press statement, click here.
Letter from CMS says NH can drop Medicaid expansion at any time
JUNE 13, 2013 -- To read the letter from CMS Director Cindy Mann to Gov. Maggie Hassan regarding the state's ability to drop Medicaid expansion at any time, click here.
VOICES' Response to Senate vote rejecting Medicaid expansion floor amendment to House Bill 1 and 2
JUNE 6, 2013. CONCORD, NH – Attribute the following to Tom Bunnell, Policy Consultant, New Hamps
New VOICES Backgrounder on Medicaid Expansion in NH: Click here.
Countdown to Coverage: *New* Comprehensive Coverage for Women’s Preventive Care
Starting on August 1st of this year, preventive services focused on women's wellness and the unique preventive services women need will now be covered without cost sharing (co-pays) as part of health insurance plans.
As part of the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is adopting new guidelines for women’s preventive services to fill the gaps in current preventive services and ensure a comprehensive set of preventive services for women.
For details about the Countdown to Coverage
for new preventative services for women, click here.
US Supreme Court Ruling Victory for Granite Staters!
NH Voices for Health celebrates the Supreme Court ruling that will allow Granite State families and businesses to continue to access important health care protections under the Affordable Care Act. This ruling means that 8,330 young adults in our state will be able to remain on their parent’s plans, that 501 cancer survivors and other patients with pre-existing conditions currently using the high-risk pool will be able to continue to access health care coverage, and that families across the state can continue to use free preventive services to eliminate future health costs and problems. For more on Voices' reaction to the US Supreme Court ruling, click here!
The ACA Provides 45 Million Americans with Preventive Services
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently released national and state data revealing that 45 million additional people are receiving preventative health services through provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The health law requires insurance plans to provide coverage for and eliminate cost-sharing on certain recommended preventive health services, for policies renewing on or after September 23, 2010. The report estimates that in New Hampshire, 279,000 people are benefiting from new preventative services. For the full report and data, click here.
Medicare Advantage Premiums Down, Enrollment Up
Medicare Advantage premiums have fallen by 7 percent on average and enrollment has risen by about 10 percent since this time last year, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced recently. “The Medicare Advantage program is stronger than ever,” Secretary Sebelius said. “Premiums are down on average, enrollment is up, and thanks to the Affordable Care Act we have unprecedented new tools to ensure that seniors and people with disabilities are getting the best value out of their coverage.”
For a press statement and to find the most recent Medicare Advantage and Part D contract and enrollment data, visit: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2012pres/02/20120201a.html
Donut Hole Closing: Health Reform Law Saves $2.1 Billion for 3.6 Million Americans with Medicare
Nearly 3.6 million people with Medicare saved $2.1 billion on their prescription drugs in 2011 thanks to the Affordable Care Act according to data issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The report reveals that NH residents with Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage saved $8.2 million or $620 per senior through the Coverage Gap (donut hole) Discount Program, which began in 2011. HHS estimates that the average person with Medicare will save nearly $4,200 by 2021 because of the new law.
For a press statement and linked reports including, the full report on Medicare Beneficiary Savings and the Affordable Care Act, state-by-state savings figures for donut hole savings, a fact sheet about donut hole savings, and the report regarding savings those with Medicare will see over time, visit: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2012pres/02/20120202a.html
NH Voices for Health and its network partners can provide speakers for your upcoming event, depending on the time and location. Topics include "The New Health Law: What It Means for You" and "Advocacy 101: Pushing for Strong Health Policy in New Hampshire and Beyond" among others. Presentation times range from panel discussions to educational forums to keynote speeches. Small businesses, in particular, will benefit from the new health law and a special track helps educate employers and owners on what improvements to expect and when.
Request a speaker for your upcoming event.
Candidate (President, NH Governor, US House of Representatives NH districts 1 & 2) statements/platforms related to health care and the ACA taken from their websites were used to create a brief overview of each of the candidates.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services : The new health law provides many opportunities for families and small businesses in New Hampshire. In addition to the fact sheets and information on our website, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a full range of information available by state, constituency and implementation timeline. For further information, visit http://www.healthcare.gov/.
State Government : Want to learn more about state health policy? In addition to the resources on the Voices website, you can visit the NH General Court website. There you can find information about bills from the past legislative session, voting records of your state legislators, and the key committees who impact health policy in our state. You can visit the General Court website at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/.