CONCORD, NH – Governor Maggie Hassan on April 5 signed into law House Bill 1696, bipartisan legislation that reauthorizes the New Hampshire Health Protection Program (NHHPP). She was joined for a ceremony at the State House by legislators from both parties, advocates, providers, patients and state employees whose hard work has been critical to the program’s successful implementation.
“Two years ago, we worked together across party lines to establish our bipartisan New Hampshire Health Protection Program, which was the most significant piece of health care legislation that the State of New Hampshire had seen in decades,” Hassan said. “And today, thanks to the hard work and bipartisan efforts of all of you, we are taking another historic step forward by reauthorizing this critical health care expansion program.”
Through NHHPP, nearly 50,000 Granite Staters have the peace of mind and security that come with quality, affordable health insurance. With more New Hampshire citizens now receiving health insurance since the bipartisan healthcare expansion plan was adopted, hospitals continue to see a reduction in inpatient, outpatient and emergency department visits from uninsured Granite Staters and uncompensated care continues to decline, which reduces healthcare cost-shifting onto all of New Hampshire’s citizens and businesses.
As the state continues to battle the heroin and opioid crisis, NHHPP has provided thousands of Granite Staters with substance misuse and behavioral health services. Experts have said that the program’s reauthorization is essential to expanding treatment capacity in New Hampshire.
The state has also seen an increase in revenues from the insurance premium tax and is beginning to see cost-savings elsewhere thanks to preventive and primary care and other benefits covered by expansion. Combined, these measures are expected to save taxpayers a total of $29 million in avoided costs over the next biennium. House Bill 1696 reauthorizes the program for two additional years.
“Unlike Washington, we have shown time and again that we are capable of engaging with each other, putting arguments aside and coming together to solve problems, leading to progress for our businesses and families,” Hassan said. “And thanks to the tireless efforts of all of you and countless others who couldn’t join us today, we were able to put ideology aside and reauthorize this critical program that is strengthening our families, our businesses and our economy. Again, I want to thank everyone who worked together to make today a reality.”
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