The Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion in New Hampshire and other states widens the eligibility standards of the health care program. The federal government offered the ACA Medicaid expansion to state officials as an option, not a mandate, since there are many factors to consider. With implementation of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid eligibility guidelines, more low-income NH residents qualify for coverage. However, the ACA Medicaid expansion cost to states also increases with the number of enrollees. Lawmakers in each state including New Hampshire considered the Obamacare Medicaid expansion details before opting in or out of the plan. Continue reading to find out what is the expansion of Medicaid and how the new Affordable Care Act Medicaid application criteria can affect New Hampshire residents.
Learn About the Affordable Care Act Medicaid Expansion in New Hampshire
What is the Obamacare Medicaid expansion and did New Hampshire accept it? Since the federal government introduced the Affordable Care Act expansion for Medicaid, 31 states including New Hampshire have accepted the new eligibility guidelines for Medicaid enrollment. The New Hampshire ACA Medicaid expansion program was officially launched in the first half of 2014. New eligible residents had access to the Affordable Care Act Medicaid application form on July 1, 2014 with coverage beginning in August. Due to the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion, almost 20,000 applicants enrolled in coverage within the first three months.
Most of the petitioners who enrolled under the ACA Medicaid expansion umbrella had no previous insurance coverage. Since the Obamacare Medicaid expansion took place, childfree adults with household incomes of up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level were granted eligibility into the Medicaid program, along with pregnant women with incomes up to 196 percent of the federal poverty level. Even children became eligible for Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) benefits with household incomes of up to 323 percent the poverty level. These new rules under the ACA Medicaid expansion were most beneficial to adults who did not have dependent children nor receive insurance options through their employer. Established applicants did not see much of a change toward their Medicaid benefits through the expansion, as they already were approved for health care.
Many states that opted out of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion did so due to budgetary issues. The ACA Medicaid expansion cost to states is minimal in the beginning, as federal provisions are provided to launch the expansion, but as the program continues, the state is ultimately responsible for the increase in Medicaid cost and coverage.
For comprehensive information about Medicaid including how to apply for coverage, download our in-depth guide.
What does opting in for the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion mean for New Hampshire?
Once the New Hampshire Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion was enacted, big changes occurred for the residents of the state. Ultimately, the ACA Medicaid expansion allowed new residents to apply for coverage based on solely on income rather than due to age and health conditions. The Obamacare expansion created an opportunity for low-income applicants, regardless of special eligibility, to seek out affordable health care options in New Hampshire. The results of this Medicaid expansion were impressive, as the number of petitioners who became covered by Medicaid and CHIP increase by almost 60,000 while the number of uninsured New Hampshire residents lowered to 36 percent.
While lawmakers in New Hampshire agreed to implement the new Affordable Care Act Medicaid eligibility guidelines, they added a sunset provision that would essentially cancel the expansion at the end of 2016 unless other legislature was passed. At the time, the governor included a proposed budget for the Medicaid expansion to continue forward. Yet, lawmakers voted to eliminate all Medicaid expansion funding from the state budget. New Hampshire passed a bill through the House of Representatives that kept the expansion of Medicaid benefits in place through the end of 2018, with certain restrictions.
Will the New Hampshire Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion ever be repealed?
There is a possibility of repealing the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion in New Hampshire and other states as local and federal officials adjust how Americans are able to access health care. While the ACA Medicaid expansion in NH could be cancelled with the sunset provision, state lawmakers aim to replace it with something else. However, the problem with repealing the ACA expansion to NH Medicaid is that almost 60,000 residents of New Hampshire would be without coverage. If Affordable Care Act Medicaid eligibility reverts back to the old rules and regulations, then there will be more limitations on who is approved and eligible for affordable health care. It is important for all petitioners to make sure they follow along with Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion updates to avoid any coverage surprises that may arise.
Download our comprehensive guide for more details about Medicaid requirements for health care coverage.