More than 6,000 new people enrolled in N.H. Medicaid in the past six months

Last modified: 4/9/2014 11:47:01 PM
Enrollment in New Hampshire’s Medicaid program is up almost 5 percent since the launch of the Affordable Care Act.

In February, 133,110 people were enrolled in the program, up from an average enrollment of 127,082 last summer, according to data the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid released last week.

The roughly 6,000 new enrollees represent an increase of 4.7 percent.

The growth is not out of line with what the program has seen in recent years, said Steve Norton, executive director of the Center for Public Policy Studies.

“On average between 2006 and 2013, we see enrollment has increased about 3.6 percent per year, and that’s just natural growth, which could be from the rate of poverty that we have that’s increasing greater than the rest of the country,” Norton said.

As people applied for tax credits and coverage in the new health insurance marketplaces before the March 31 deadline, they may have learned they were eligible for coverage through Medicaid. Or parents who signed up for coverage on the marketplace may have also learned about the penalties for not getting coverage for their children, said Deb Fournier, policy analyst for the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute.

New Hampshire’s Medicaid program is available to low-income parents and pregnant women, children and disabled adults. It is slated to expand to all low-income adults in July, as New Hampshire is one of 26 states plus the District of Columbia that are expanding their Medicaid programs as authorized and paid for by the Affordable Care Act.

On average, Medicaid enrollment in those states has increased 7.7 percent since July, with Oregon’s enrollment increase leading the way at 34 percent. At 4.7 percent, New Hampshire’s increase was the seventh-lowest.

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

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