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Press Release

For Immediate Release
March 5, 2015

Contact:
Communications Office
(603)271-2121

Governor Hassan Announces Premium Assistance Waiver for Health Care Expansion Approved by Federal Government
Waiver Will Allow Expansion Population to Enroll in Private Plans on Health Insurance Marketplace

CONCORD – In another important step forward for the health and financial security of hard-working Granite Staters, Governor Maggie Hassan announced today that the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved the New Hampshire Department of Health Human Services (DHHS) premium assistance waiver that will allow the New Hampshire Health Protection Program (NHHPP) population to enroll in private plans on New Hampshire’s partnership marketplace for coverage beginning in 2016.

As required by the bipartisan health care expansion legislation that the Governor signed last March, the waiver establishes a mandatory qualified health plan premium assistance program for individuals in the new adult group through qualified health plans (QHPs) offered in the New Hampshire Health Insurance Marketplace.

“The New Hampshire Health Protection Program is reducing health care cost-shifting onto our families and businesses, strengthening the health of our workforce, and boosting our economy,” Governor Hassan said. “Because of our bipartisan health care expansion plan, more than 36,000 hard-working Granite Staters now have the peace of mind and financial security that comes with quality, affordable health insurance, and the premium assistance waiver will allow these people to choose among private insurance plans offered on the health insurance marketplace.

“Federal approval of this waiver is another important step forward for the New Hampshire Health Protection Program, which will help it increase the positive impact that it is already having on our people and our economy,” Governor Hassan said. “Moving the New Hampshire Health Protection Program population to the marketplace will strengthen our efforts to bring competition to our health insurance marketplace, increasing choices for all New Hampshire citizens. Our bipartisan health care expansion plan is a uniquely New Hampshire solution that continues to make progress, and I look forward to continuing to work with the legislature to maintain our commitment to our people, businesses, and the future of our economy through this critical program.”

With CMS approval, the Voluntary Bridge to Marketplace Program – the current expansion program – will continue through the end of the year. In November 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, cost-effective QHPs that are offered on New Hampshire’s partnership marketplace.

“The approval of the premium assistance waiver is welcome news as the department continues its efforts to expand access to health care and improve the health and well-being of all our people,” said DHHS Deputy Commissioner Marilee Nihan. “It is critical to our health reform efforts, and we look forward to working closely with all of our public health and federal partners to implement the premium assistance program so that we can continue to improve the health of those we serve.”

The purchase of QHPs will be paid for with 100 percent federal funds through December 31, 2016.

Through the 3rd of March, 36,404 New Hampshire citizens had enrolled in the New Hampshire Health Protection Program.

For the approval letter and the approved premium assistance waiver, visit www.dhhs.state.nh.us/pap-1115-waiver/.