July 22, 2013

N.H. governor will consider Medicaid alternatives

Maggie Hassan says she wants the best model to cover 58,000 poor adults.

The Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. - Gov. Maggie Hassan says she would consider alternatives to enrolling about 58,000 poor adults into the state's Medicaid program if a different way to expand the program is better.

She said she's confident a special commission formed to study whether expanding Medicaid is right for the state will address reluctant lawmakers' concerns. She said she wants to hear what model the commission believes is best.

The first-term Democratic governor said lawmakers who were reluctant to authorize expansion in the budget passed in June need to help her understand why an alternative is better. She also said the focus should be on improving health by providing access to services.

"One of the things we heard from people who had questions about expansion was whether the way it had been proposed as a standard way was the right way for New Hampshire. I need to understand from them if they think there are different, better ways and then we will consider them," Hassan said.

New Hampshire's current Medicaid program covers low-income children, parents with nondisabled children under 18, pregnant women, senior citizens and the disabled.

The expansion would add anyone under age 65 who earns up to 138 percent of federal poverty guidelines, which is about $15,000 for a single adult.

If states choose to expand Medicaid, the U.S. government would pick up the full cost for the first three years and 90 percent afterward.


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