The CMS has approved a New Hampshire Medicaid expansion waiver which will allow the state to buy private insurance for its residents with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level.
Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan last year signed into law a bill that expanded Medicaid and created a temporary bridge program that allowed beneficiaries to go into the state's managed Medicaid plans.
Had the waiver not been approved, expansion would have been phased out. As of March 3, 36,404 state residents had enrolled in the bridge program and as many as 50,000 people were estimated to be eligible for expanded coverage.
The move to private insurance will mean more choices for beneficiaries, Hassan said.
The Voluntary Bridge to Marketplace program will continue through the end of the year. The state will begin purchasing private insurance for individuals once the next open-enrollment period begins Nov. 15 with coverage kicking in Jan. 1, 2016.
New Hampshire is the sixth state to expand Medicaid via a waiver. The other states are Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Overall, 28 states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid.
Follow Virgil Dickson on Twitter: @MHVDickson