NH submits Granite Advantage Health Care program waiver application

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Gov. Chris Sununu

CONCORD, NH – Citing potential “substantial saving for federal tax payers,” NH Governor Chris Sununu sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Alex Azar III Monday, requesting that HHS extend Demonstration Project #11-W-00298/1.

If approved, the wavier would enable New Hampshire to amend and extend the state’s Medicaid expansion program while better “integrating cost controls and personal responsibility” into the state’s Medicaid program.

Dubbed the Granite Advantage Health Care Program, it will continue to serve Medicaid recipients through a managed care program model favored by the private insurer market, rather than a premium assistance program. This model is seen by many as a way to curb the high cost of health care by helping patients better manage chronic disease conditions and adapt healthier life styles, among other elements.  Further, by providing coverage to those previously who were un or under-insured, there should be a favorable downstream impact on local hospital emergency departments where the uninsured often seek care as a last resort.

The proposal also includes of work or community engagement requirements, a concept that has come under fire by some.

Last October the state first submitted an application to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to amend the Demonstration in order to promote work and community engagement opportunities. The request was approved by CMS this past May and the new Granite Advantage Health Care Program would extend these provisions throughout the Demonstration renewal period.

You can read the letter penned by Sununu and the full 416-page waiver application below: