Open enrollment to purchase health insurance on the marketplace through Healthcare.gov ended in December. However, insurance purchased as an individual or through one’s employment is not the only way to access health insurance. Those who are eligible can enroll in Medicaid any time of the year.
Currently 189,110 Granite State residents receive health care through Medicaid. Recipients are children, adults, adults with disabilities and seniors living in nursing homes.
Since the state expanded Medicaid in 2014, New Hampshire residents aged 19 to 64 who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line are now eligible. For example, individuals whose income is no more than $1,337 per month or $16,044 per year may qualify. Medicaid expansion has enabled more than 53,000 Granite State residents to have access to quality health care.
For families, Children’s Medicaid covers 33 percent of New Hampshire children. The income guidelines for enrollment in CHIP (the Children’s Health Insurance Program) are more generous than the adult Medicaid. Families can qualify with incomes up to 318 percent of the Federal poverty level and receive Medicaid insurance. For example, a family of four with two children can make up to $6,509 per month or roughly $78,000 a year and be eligible for CHIP coverage for their children.
Medicaid supports 64 percent of Granite State residents living in nursing Homes, covers 14 percent of New Hampshire’s seniors and people with disabilities, and pays for 18 percent of New Hampshire’s buprenorphine expenditure, a medication used to treat opioid addiction.
Medicaid is a vital program helping to keep New Hampshire residents healthy. Currently SB313, the bill to extend N.H. Medicaid expansion, has passed the state Senate and House of Representatives and is now being reviewed by the Finance Committee. It is expected that the bill will return for a final vote shortly.
If you would like to determine your eligibility for Medicaid or for Children’s Medicaid, Carroll County Health Insurance Navigator Beth Dyson is available to assist people with applications. This is a free service provided through the Affordable Care Act at White Mountain Community Health Center, located on Route 16 just north of Conway Village. She is available by appointment Monday-Wednesday. Appointments can be made through the front office at (603) 447-8900.