NH residents to see other laws soon in addition to gasoline tax
Becky Ranes, the mother of 9-year-old Joshua Savyon, who was killed by his father, Muni Savyon, at a Manchester visitation center last August, worked to persuade lawmakers the state should have a separate crime of domestic violence. The result was Senate Bill 318, known as Joshua's Law.
A law allowing a 25-foot buffer zone around buildings where abortions are performed is scheduled to take effect in mid-July, though exactly what effect a ruling last week by the U.S. Supreme Court will have on the law has yet to be determined. (See State House Dome, Page B9)
The bill's chief sponsor, Sen. Donna Soucy, D-Manchester, said last week it's too early to know the effect of the court's ruling on the law.
New Hampshire residents eligible for Medicaid under new rules approved by the state Legislature can begin applying on July 1 for health insurance coverage that begins Aug. 15.
New Hampshire residents between ages 19 and 65 with a household income of up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for new health care coverage under New Hampshire's Medicaid expansion plan. Qualified working adults with access to health insurance through their employer will be covered through their employer-sponsored insurance, with the state paying the employee's premiums and other costs of coverage. Further details are available at www.nheasy.nh.gov; by calling the Medicaid Service Center at 888-901-4999; by visiting a DHHS district office; or through www.healthcare.gov.
A four-year agreement with all but one of the state's hospitals was approved by lawmakers on a bipartisan vote, avoiding a potential $375 million budget shortfall this biennium.
Two superior courts had ruled the state's tax on hospitals - the Medicaid Enhancement Tax - was unconstitutional because it taxed only hospitals for services that were also provided by private laboratories, private physician practices, ambulatory surgical centers and other health care providers. Over the next five years, according to the settlement, the amount of state and federal money dedicated to helping hospitals recoup their uncompensated care will double. The deal ends litigation on both the state and federal levels brought by the hospitals over the MET and state Medicaid reimbursement rates. The bill, SB 369, has yet to be signed by Hassan.
Also awaiting Hassan's signature is a bill to limit when heating oil companies can advertise prepaid contracts and make failure to deliver heating fuel a violation under the state Consumer Protection Act. House Bill 1282 gained support last winter when Fred Fuller Oil and Propane Co. failed to meet scheduled deliveries of heating oil. The bill limits to between May 1 and Oct. 31 the period when dealers can advertise and solicit customers for prebuy contracts. Failure to deliver heating oil under a prepaid contract will be considered a class B misdemeanor, which could be upgraded to a class A misdemeanor for repeated or gross violations.