NH explores alternate Medicaid expansion models

In examining options for expanding its Medicaid program, New Hampshire is exploring models from the more conservative parts of the Midwest and Southeast, the Concord Monitor reported.

A special panel convened to tackle the subject is examining plans adopted in Iowa and Arkansas. Both would use the funding provided by the federal government to expand Medicaid to instead purchase insurance for low-income residents. Arkansas' plan would guarantee coverage identical to that provided by traditional Medicaid, while Iowa's would not. Iowa would also charge monthly premiums and co-payments.

However, the Monitor noted that the two states have yet to receive a waiver from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to move forward with their proposals.

New Hampshire's Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan and the House of Representatives wants to expand Medicaid, but its GOP-controlled Senate has blocked legislation to do so, the Boston Globe reported. Altogether, as many as 58,000 residents of the Granite State would be eligible for coverage under expansion, and hospitals would financially benefit from those patients having insurance coverage.

According to the Globe, Maine has already opted out of Medicaid expansion, although Massachusetts and Vermont plan to participate. Twenty-one states have declined to expand Medicaid at this time, while six, including New Hampshire, are still debating the issue.

In New Hampshire, the special commission is expected to make non-binding recommendations in October, the Monitor reported.

To learn more:
- read the Concord Monitor article
- read the Boston Globe article