Nov. 20 - New Hampshire Submits Premium Assistance Waiver for Health Care Expansion to Federal Government

Innovate New Hampshire
Balanced Budget
Public Safety

Press Release

For Immediate Release
November 20, 2014

Communications Office

New Hampshire Submits Premium Assistance Waiver for Health Care Expansion to Federal Government
Waiver Will Allow Expansion Population to Enroll in Private Plans on Health Insurance Marketplace

CONCORD – Continuing efforts to implement the bipartisan New Hampshire Health Protection Program in order to improve the health and financial security of Granite State families, Governor Maggie Hassan announced today that the New Hampshire Department of Health Human Services (DHHS) submitted a waiver to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today that will allow the New Hampshire Health Protection population to enroll in private plans on New Hampshire’s federally facilitated marketplace beginning in 2016.

As required by the bipartisan health care expansion legislation that the Governor signed in March, the waiver establishes a mandatory qualified health plan premium assistance program for individuals in the new adult group. The waiver was approved in a bipartisan vote by New Hampshire’s Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee earlier this month after receiving input from legislators and other stakeholders during the public hearing and comment process.

“This waiver is an important part of our efforts to improve the health and financial well-being of Granite State families, businesses and communities through our bipartisan health care expansion plan, ”Governor Hassan said. \“ Almost 24,000 Granite Staters have the security that comes with quality, affordable health insurance because of the New Hampshire Health Protection Program, and if approved, this waiver will allow these people to choose private insurance on the health insurance marketplace.”

“This will strengthen our efforts to bring competition to our health insurance marketplace, improving affordability and increasing choices for all New Hampshire citizens, while also helping reduce levels of uncompensated care that shift costs onto all of our people and businesses,” Governor Hassan said. “Our bipartisan health care expansion plan is a uniquely New Hampshire solution, and I urge the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid to approve this waiver as quickly as possible.”

If CMS approves the premium assistance waiver on or before March 31, 2015, the Voluntary Bridge to Marketplace Program – the current expansion program – will continue through the end of the year. In October 2015, individuals in the expansion population who are not enrolled in the mandatory Health Insurance Premium Payment program – which provides premium assistance to individuals with employer-provided health insurance – and individuals who are not deemed to be medically frail will begin enrolling in private Qualified Health Plans with premium assistance via New Hampshire’s federally facilitated marketplace.

“The Department’s efforts continue to focus on expanding access to health care and improving the health and well-being of all our people,” said DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas. "This waiver submission will further our health reform efforts, and we look forward to working closely with all of our public health and federal partners to ensure that this waiver is approved as quickly as possible so that we can continue to improve the health of those we serve.”

The purchase of Qualified Health Plans via the marketplace will be paid for with 100 percent federal funds through December 31, 2016.

Through the 19th of November, 23,975 New Hampshire citizens had enrolled in the New Hampshire Health Protection Program.

For the full premium assistance waiver, visit  pdf file.

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