New Hampshire has delayed the start date for its Medicaid work requirements after it found enrollees weren’t complying with needed reporting.
The state’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) found that in June, the first month where Medicaid enrollees were required to document their work hours, only 8,000 of the 25,000 people subject to the requirements had complied with the reporting.
In a letter (PDF) to top state officials, DHHS Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers said the agency has “no information” on the compliance status of the remaining 17,000 people.
“Clearly, there needs to be a continuing effort by the department, its managed care organizations who serve this population and other providers in order to educate the beneficiaries and implement the program in order that it does not result in the unintended loss of coverage for thousands of beneficiaries,” Meyers wrote.
Gov. Chris Sununu on Monday signed a Democrat-backed bill that would adjust the program, called Granite Advantage.
Under the new law, the penalties associated with the requirements will be pushed back to September, and in the meantime, state employees will go door-to-door to more effectively get the word out about them.
Despite the meager results, the state has already invested a significant amount of resources in outreach for the requirements, according to Meyers’ letter—they're just not reaching the people they need to.
For example, the department made 50,000 phone calls to residents related to the work requirements, but just 10% actually answered the phone. And, of those that did pick up, only 10% were able to offer identifying information to state workers that allowed them to discuss enrollment status, according to Meyers’ letter.
In addition, DHHS held 11 public information sessions, launched television and radio ads and hosted counseling sessions at its office. It also sent letters to beneficiaries on four separate occasions, Meyers wrote.
The agency’s 11 district offices held sessions three times per week for two months, and these meetings attracted fewer than 500 people, according to the letter. More than 1,200 home visits have been made so far, which have connected with just 150 people.
“These considerable efforts did not result in the type and volume of personal contact that would ensure the success of the program,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, the state’s work requirements have been challenged in court. Oral arguments are scheduled for July 23 before District of Columbia Judge James Boasberg, who has rejected work requirements in Arkansas and Kentucky.