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N.H. officials authorize managed care companies to move forward with Medicaid plan

The three companies that will try to manage New Hampshire’s Medicaid program are now authorized to move forward after a year of delays in getting providers to sign on.

One day after the state’s community mental health centers agreed to join the managed care provider networks, the Department of Health and Human Services released a statement saying “the networks are sufficient to meet the needs of Medicaid beneficiaries with minimal disruption from what they have experienced on the fee-for-service program.”

The state’s hospitals agreed to join the networks in early July. Department Commissioner Nick Toumpas set the program start date for the first stage of managed care, which will include most Medicaid enrollees, for Dec. 1.

That will be the first day that coverage of current Medicaid beneficiaries will be provided by one of the three companies: Meridian Health Plan, New Hampshire Healthy Families or Well Sense Health Plan. In the coming weeks, the department plans to communicate with current enrollees with information about selecting a plan for their coverage. The department also plans to launch a new website dedicated to managed care, and open an expanded call center to respond to questions and help recipients choose a plan when enrollment begins in September.

Last year, state officials agreed to pay the three companies $2.2 billion over three years to run the managed care system, anticipating savings of more than $45 million in the current biennial budget.

(Sarah Palermo can be reached at 369-3322 or or on Twitter @SPalermoNews.)

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