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ACA Advances in NH

Posted: March 7, 2014

ACA Advances In NH 

The State Senate passed a version of “Medicaid Expansion” on Thursday. The “New Hampshire health protection program” will provide access to more affordable healthcare for thousands of NH residents. This will be accomplished through both the public and private sectors. The legislation is going to be “fast tracked” in the House, so expect the Governor to sign the bill this month. This is great news for many in NH, most importantly those who will receive healthcare, but also the hospitals and providers who will benefit from a reduction in uncompensated care. In addition, the NH health protection program implementation demands will hopefully force DHHS to delay their proposed commercialization of NH’s nationally recognized DD/ABD community support system.

Also on the ACA front this week, the Joint Committee on Health Reform gave the okay for the NH Insurance Department to accept a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for continued implementation of plan management partnership operations during 2014, and for exploring continuity of coverage options. It is expected that the Fiscal committee will also grant this request on Monday.

Business Enterprise Tax

This week the NH House killed HB 1509 which would have subjected hundreds of nonprofits to the Business Enterprise Tax (BET). The proponents of taxing nonprofits wanted to “study” the issue rather than defeat the bill outright. The House wisely disposed of the bill by voting to ITL on Wednesday.  There is still one more anti nonprofit piece of legislation in the House: SB 186, which would place financial and administrative burdens on nonprofits by requiring onerous “training” for Board of Directors. No hearing has been scheduled on that bill at this point.

SB 414 relative to Medicaid-Funded Services Provided as a Part of a Child’s Individualized Education Program

On Tuesday, the Senate Education and Human Services passed this legislation that clarifies that if a child receives Medicaid-funded services as part of the child’s special education program (IEP) and also receives the same or similar medical services outside of his or her special education school program, the services that are provided outside of the child’s special education program shall not be considered to be duplicative provided that both services are medically necessary. This protection is to ensure services are not reduced or eliminated for children. Please stay tuned for more information on this bill as the process unfolds.

Coming Up

SB 396 relative to child restraint practices is scheduled for a public hearing on March 11th in the LOB Room 103 at 10:20AM. This bill would establish some critical basic requirements to protect children & school staff and keep parents informed.

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