What New Hampshire employers should know about potential Medicaid impacts
After end of Covid emergency, affected employees could be turning to work for coverage options
Attention New Hampshire employers: Some of your employees covered by Medicaid could lose access to their health plan as the state completes the Medicaid renewal process to determine beneficiaries’ continued eligibility. Over the next 12 months, an estimated 102,000 Granite Staters could be impacted – many due to financial ineligibility since the Covid-19 public health emergency was declared. For employers, this means employees who previously declined health coverage may be looking for more information about their coverage options.
Why this is happening
In 2020, the White House declared a public health emergency in response to Covid-19. Among other things, it allowed Medicaid members to stay enrolled in their current coverage regardless of changes in eligibility or status. Late last year, the Consolidated Appropriations Act that Medicaid continuous coverage would end March 31, 2023, meaning states needed to resume eligibility reviews beginning in April.
What employers can do
Granite Staters covered by Medicaid have already started receiving yellow renewal notices from the NH Department of Health and Human Services. Consumer groups and New Hampshire’s health insurers are also raising awareness about these changes. But the process will be understandably concerning for people covered by Medicaid.
For those losing access to Medicaid, most will seek coverage through their employer or through individual health plans offered directly through health insurers. Employers can play a critical role in raising awareness of the Medicaid renewal changes and help their employees find coverage.
Employers can direct workers without access to employer-sponsored coverage to several resources:
1. Your organization’s healthcare broker may be able to offer guidance during this process.
2. Federally funded navigator programs in New Hampshire like Health Market Connect (hmcnh.org or 1-800-208-5164) and First Choice Services (acanavigator.com/nh/home or 1-877-211-NAVI) offer free assistance to consumers looking to enroll in a marketplace plan.
3. Healthcare.gov is full of easy-to-understand information and tools to find healthcare navigators and brokers in each community.
4. Health plan websites, such as anthem.com/staycovered, are great resources offering simple, easy-to-use consumer tools to check plan options, costs, and eligibility.
Affordable health coverage is available
The good news is that Affordable Care Act plans available on the individual marketplace (healthcare.gov) are more affordable than ever because federal subsidies have been expanded through 2025 to help keep costs down for consumers. These health plans offer essential benefits, such as coverage for emergency services, prescription drugs, and pediatric services, and cover preventive health services at no cost to the member.
Most people covered by these plans receive a federal subsidy, and in fact, some families that qualify for subsidies will pay nothing for coverage. What’s more, a new Jan. 1 IRS rule fixed the so-called “family glitch,” which initially based the household income limit for subsidies on costs for the individual employee, not an employee and their family.
Employers have a core business interest in the health of their employees and their families. Having health coverage means better access to care – especially preventive care – and supports better health outcomes. And that means a healthier workforce for New Hampshire.
Maria Proulx is president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire.