Letter From The United States Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
Concord, NH –
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recently received a letter from the United States Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the non-federal share financing of the New Hampshire Health Protection Program (NHHPP), otherwise known as “Medicaid Expansion”. The letter continues a conversation that began in 2016 between the State and CMS.
The letter outlines concerns around how New Hampshire structures the funding mechanism for the non-federal share of the NHHPP. Beginning in 2014, when the State expanded the Medicaid program, the federal government fully financed the NHHPP. This year, for the first time, the federal government’s share was reduced to 95 percent. When the New Hampshire Legislature reauthorized the NHHPP in 2016, it addressed the non-federal share funding by incorporating financing that relied upon participation by insurance carriers and hospitals.
Governor Chris Sununu Statement:
“In June, my office became aware that CMS had been scrutinizing the non-federal share financing for New Hampshire's Health Protection Program since 2016. Specifically, CMS identified concerns regarding the State's use of voluntary donations from health care providers in the New Hampshire Health Protection Fund, and indicated that CMS staff felt New Hampshire may be out of compliance with federal requirements. Given these concerns, CMS raised the possibility that federal funds may be withheld, which under New Hampshire law would have resulted in the termination of the program.
“In coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services, my administration immediately began comprehensive negotiations with CMS and Secretary Tom Price. The result of this successful negotiation is that the structure of New Hampshire’s Medicaid Expansion program will continue until the end of 2018. We appreciate the additional time and flexibility being provided by the Trump Administration.
“The bottom line is that as a result of our negotiations, there will be no change to the program through the end of 2018 and the 50,000 New Hampshire residents participating in the Medicaid Expansion will see no change in their coverage through the current re-authorization.
“Regardless of whether you support Medicaid expansion or not, it would have been grossly unfair to strip medical coverage from the thousands of Granite Staters who rely on the program without a sufficient alternative in place. This transition period will allow New Hampshire's leaders enough time to carefully consider and deliberate the future of Medicaid expansion given this new guidance from CMS.”
Commissioner Jeff Meyers Statement:
“The Department is pleased the CMS worked with New Hampshire to ensure the continuation of the program. We look forward to working with the Governor, the Legislature and our federal partners during the reauthorization process.”