Governor Hassan has signed legislation designed to strengthen the state’s mental health system, a result of a class-action lawsuit filed in 2012.
The law allocates roughly $11 million through next fiscal year for increased community-based treatment options including supportive housing and crisis response teams. It is the first portion of a $30 million settlement agreement reached in December.
The Disabilities Rights Center and U.S. Department of Justice had sued the state in federal court over its lack of adequate care for people with mental illness.
An unexpected surge in Medicaid enrollments during the past six months is putting pressure on the state’s budget.
Medicaid has seen its enrollment jump by roughly 11,000 people since January 1. State officials attribute this to two main things: under the Affordable Care Act, there’s a streamlined application process, and that increased publicity surrounding the law brought out more applicants.
Health and Human Service Commissioner Nick Toumpas says it’s more than they expected, but that nearly 70% of the new sign-ups are children.
Enrollment in Medicaid for as many as 50,000 newly eligible residents opens tomorrow, with health benefits slated to start August 15th.
Governor Maggie Hassan held a kick-off event on Monday at the Manchester Community Health Center, where she called the bi-partisan deal to expand the state’s Medicaid program the most significant health care legislation in decades.
New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion program finally has a launch date. Coverage for an estimated 50,000 low-income recipients will start August 15, with an enrollment period beginning July 1.
“The bipartisan New Hampshire Health Protection Program is a historic step forward for the health and economic well-being of New Hampshire families, businesses and communities,” writes Governor Maggie Hassan in a statement announcing the new timeline.
Residents earning up to 138% of the federal poverty level, or about $16,000 a year, are eligible for the program.
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services held a public info session in Manchester Tuesday night to demystify the state’s new Expanded Medicaid plan.
About 15 people, mostly care providers, attended the Manchester session. Questions ranged from how one qualifies for the program and ‘are refugees included?’ (they are), to the application process itself.
In its latest release of statistics aimed at shedding more light on the quality of the nation’s health care system, the Obama Administration targets the use of physical restraints on psychiatric patients.
It collected data from more than 1,500 facilities nationally. The results show Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester with the fifth highest rate of restraint use in the country.
One of three private companies brought in to manage administration and benefits within the state’s Medicaid program is ending its agreement. The Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday Meridian Health Plan will withdraw at the end of July.
“This has not been an easy decision,” says Dr. David Cotton, CEO of Detroit-based Meridian, “but our recent growth in the Midwest demands that we refocus our resources to continue to provide top-quality managed care products in our core markets.”
Two more insurance companies say they plan to sell policies in New Hampshire’s health exchange in 2015, bringing the total to five carriers. The suddenly crowded field is a sharp contrast to this year, when only Anthem is offering policies through healthcare.gov.
Harvard Pilgrim and Minuteman Health, both based in Massachusetts, announced their intentions to join the exchange earlier this year, and now the New Hampshire Insurance Department says Assurant Health and Maine Community Health Options have also submitted plans for regulatory review.
Governor Maggie Hassan has announced a tentative settlement with almost all the hospitals in the state over Medicaid rates and a tax on hospital revenues that two judges have said is unconstitutional.
Hassan told legislative negotiators Thursday the agreement with 25 hospitals hinges on legislation to address constitutional questions raised in court. The hospitals would get more money for the care they provide in exchange for dropping a lawsuit over rates and putting on hold their challenge of the tax's constitutionality.
The first public meeting between House and Senate negotiators working to fix the state’s Medicaid enhancement tax lasted all of 20 minutes, but parties are optimistic a deal can be struck.
Representative Cindy Rosenwald, a Nashua Democrat, used the hearing to reiterate the House’s position that despite court rulings declaring the tax unlawful, the New Hampshire Supreme Court will see otherwise.
“We continue to believe that our Medicaid enhancement tax is constitutional,” Rosenwald told colleagues. She says it adheres to both federal and state law.
Politicians in New Hampshire have done plenty of arguing over the Affordable Care Act. Today, lawyers were given a turn.
A long-awaited hearing was held at the state Insurance Department. At issue is a complaint filed by an East Rochester woman over alleged harm suffered at the hands of Anthem’s limited network of hospitals.
Margaret McCarthy was a bookkeeper and office manager, but now, in her early 60s, she’s content volunteering as treasurer of her church.
Nearly 90% of the people who signed up for health care through the Affordable Care Act in New Hampshire have paid their first month’s bill.
Anthem, the only insurance company in the exchange this year, says roughly 35,000 out of the 40,000 who enrolled through healthcare.gov are paid up.
That's a higher percent than estimates put out by Republican members of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. Their report released April 30th stated that just 67% of enrollees nationally had paid their first month’s premium.
After several stops and starts, the Insurance Department has agreed to a formal hearing on the adequacy of Anthem’s narrow network of hospitals.
The move stems from a complaint filed by East Rochester resident Margaret McCarthy. She says she’s been aggrieved by Anthem’s decision to exclude Frisbie Memorial Hospital from its network for plans sold through the Affordable Care Act.
The state is bumping up against an intended start date for Medicaid expansion sign-ups.
The bi-partisan plan agreed to earlier this year originally called for a two-month early enrollment period beginning May 1st with coverage starting in July, but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services hasn’t yet signed off on the package.
Governor Hassan says her administration continues to work closely with federal regulators.
The New Hampshire Insurance Department is disputing a report that claims a 90% spike in individual premiums under the Affordable Care Act. The report from Morgan Stanley, which has become the latest flashpoint in the political battle over Obamacare, was based on a national survey of insurance brokers.
The number of Medicaid enrollees in New Hampshire is up 4% since last October, according to new data from the federal government. More than 133,000 people were enrolled as of February, compared with roughly 127,000 recipients before the launch of the Affordable Care Act.
The transition of New Hampshire's Medicaid program to what’s called ‘managed care’ was supposed to be phased in over three years.
First, private companies would take over administration of medical care for more than 100,000 recipients. In year two, services for people with developmental disabilities, including supports such as 24-hour aides and housing would switch over. And then, lastly, newly eligible recipients through Medicaid expansion would get benefits arranged through the managed care companies.
Time is running out for individuals looking to buy health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. The cut-off to start the sign-up process is March 31st, and unlike previous deadlines, it looks like this one may actually hold.
That’s got John Carland taking the process more seriously.
“I put things off,” says Carland. “I’m a procrastinator. So, I just put it off until I had to do it, I guess.”
It’s been a little more than 100 days since the state of New Hampshire dramatically re-shaped its biggest program. On December 1st, traditional Medicaid became Medicaid Managed Care, shifting administration of the health program into the hands of private companies in the hopes of saving $15 million a year.
Perhaps the biggest change to the program for recipients revolves around something called prior authorizations.
Health insurance products sold in New Hampshire’s exchange would face public hearings under a bill passed by the Senate.
Supporters say the hearings will provide transparency about what exactly the plans cover, and which doctors and hospitals are participating. The move comes in direct response to Anthem’s so-called narrow network exchange plans that leave out 10 of the state’s 26 hospitals.