Efforts underway to make Medicaid expansion workable in New Hampshire
She said if there is more than one carrier beginning in 2015 as is expected, then the exchange provision could go forward.
Earlier this summer, the Insurance Department told the commission that as long as the one insurer on the exchange — Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield — offered several plans, the state would meet the requirement for a choice of plans for those who qualify for Medicaid.
But Sen. Andy Sanborn, R-Bedford, noted Anthem is offering 11 plans on the exchange. Is there a way to get a definitive answer, he asked.
Committee member Charlie Arlinghaus noted there is little room for compromise between those in favor and opposed to expansion, but using private insurers in Medicaid expansion was one way to bridge the gap. “Without that option,” Arlinghaus said, “I’m not sure.”
The commission spent much of Tuesday going through eight key points that need to be addressed if the state goes forward with expansion, although there was little agreement on most of the points.
Sherman offered to put together a plan that could be acceptable to most of the commission, while other members will present alternative plans at the commission’s next meeting on Tuesday Oct. 1.
New Hampshire is one of eight states that have yet to make a decision on whether to expand Medicaid eligibility. Several states have agreed to move forward, but only if receiving waivers from the federal government for proposed programs.
Expansion is supported by Gov. Maggie Hassan and the Democrat-controlled House, while the Republican-controlled Senate said it needs more information and time before deciding.
If New Hampshire decides to expand Medicaid eligibility to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, state health and human service officials say that will add 49,000 people to the program over the next seven-and-a-half years, while the federal government will pay $2.4 billion to health care providers. The state is expected to spend about $18 million for expansion over the period.
The commission meets at the beginning of October to decide on what recommendations it will make, and then again a week later to review a draft report.
- With non-critical federal services shutting down and no budget deal in sight, whom do you blame for the impasse?
- Both are to blame
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