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Medicaid expansion bill clears Senate committee

By DAVE SOLOMON
State House Bureau

March 07. 2018 12:00AM




CONCORD — A proposal to continue expanded Medcaid in New Hampshire beyond its expiration date at the end of 2018 cleared its first legislative hurdle on Tuesday, as the Joint Senate Finance Committee voted 10-1 in favor of SB 313, “reforming New Hampshire’s Medicaid and Premium Assistance Program.”

The proposal unveiled recently with bipartisan support includes work or community service requirements for certain participants and conversion of the program to a managed care approach, instead of fee for service.

Funding for the state share of the expansion, which rises to 10 percent by 2020, would come in part from the state’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Fund.

Current law requires that 3.4 percent of the profits from state liquor sales go into the fund; that would rise to 5 percent under the new law.

“The New Hampshire Granite Advantage Health Care Program supported today achieves our goals of continuing to provide health care to 50,000 citizens while saving taxpayers money through a managed care system and is funded without new or increased taxes or fees on Granite Staters,” said Senate President Chuck Morse, R-Salem.

The proposal also includes a workforce development initiative to help recipients comply with the work requirement.

Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, recently introduced amendments to the bill, capping the liability of insurance companies to help fund the state’s share, and establishing procedures for verifying compliance with the work requirements.

“The program we developed engaged a funding source that allows us to continue to bring key services to individuals in need of substance abuse treatment and mental health care,” said Bradley. “This is one of the most important tools that Medicaid has brought to our state and it is critical that we continue providing these services for this population.”

dsolomon@unionleader.com


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