The Affordable Care Act in NH: the latest on Medicaid Expansion

ACAThe Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) has many provisions which are meant to improve healthcare coverage for people in all situations. For individuals or families at the Federal Poverty Level of income and up to 4 times that level, discounts are available to help pay for the insurance everyone is now required to have.

However, for people below the Federal Poverty Level, currently $11,490 for an individual or $23,550 for a family of four as examples, the plan is designed to incorporate expanded Medicaid coverage, so people not formerly eligible for Medicaid would become so, and services for Medicaid recipients would also improve. The Federal Government, by law, will pay for 100% of this for 3 years and then taper down to 90% in 2020 and then stay at that level, with the state picking up the eventual 10%.

By October 15 at the latest, the Medicaid Expansion Study Commission is due to submit a report of their weeks of study followed by a special session of the NH Legislature to vote on expansion of Medicaid benefits to its citizens. Whatever the outcome of this vote, low income people in New Hampshire will be effected.

On November 19, Derry Public Library will present another in its series of programs on the Affordable Care Act. Karen Kelly Community Organizer for the NH Citizen’s Alliance will be on hand to discuss the decision made by the NH Legislature. If the vote supports Medicaid Expansion, she will explain what it means, who is eligible, and what to do next. If the vote does not support the expansion, she will talk about the options and issues that arise because of that.

People with low incomes, family members already on Medicaid, and those who just want to understand more fully the Affordable Care Act in general are welcome to come to Derry Public Library, Tuesday evening, November 19 at 6:30 pm. Call 432-6140 for more information. Registration for this program is suggested but not required.

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