N.H. Senate to Vote on Whether to Extend Medicaid Expansion Another Five Years

Mar 8, 2018

A plan to extend New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion will have its first big test on Thursday, when it goes before the full Senate for a vote.

The Senate finance committee gave a strong 10-1 endorsement to this Republican-backed plan just a few days ago.

The plan institutes what supporters are calling work and community engagement requirements — stipulating that most “able-bodied” adults would need to prove that they’re employed at least part-time, in school or in some kind of other qualifying activity in order to sign up for coverage.

It would also move patients off of the Obamacare insurance markets and into managed care plans, the model currently used by most of the state’s non-expansion Medicaid population.

Republicans who support the plan are adamant that it won't require any new state taxes or fees. Instead, they're banking on the idea that the federal government will help to cover most of New Hampshire's share.

Their plan also taps into the state's alcohol treatment fund would cover the remaining costs —  which has alarmed some recovery advocates who worry it would take away valuable resources at a time when many other programs are stretched thin for funding.

The state says about 7,500 people are getting addiction treatment through expanded Medicaid on a quarterly basis.