Today, on a bi-partisan vote of 212 – 120 the New Hampshire House advanced Senate Bill 194, a measure that will ensure that women and men in New Hampshire with incomes below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level can access federal Medicaid funds to obtain a wide range of family planning and preventive health services.
“The Medicaid Family Planning initiative will allow thousands of women and men to access family planning related medical services including birth control, health counseling and cancer screenings”, stated Jennifer Frizzell, Senior Policy Advisor for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. “In addition to improving access to preventive care, it will provide significant savings for the general fund”, Frizzell continued.
SB 194 and the Medicaid family planning benefit will allow New Hampshire to access up to $4 million in federal funding each year to support these primary and preventive services. The anticipated savings from averted pregnancy complications, Medicaid births and related infant care will benefit the general fund.
The program will also bring much needed funding to support the work of community health and family planning centers that provide a safety net for NH citizens. If NH’s Medicaid managed care and other cost reduction initiatives are going to succeed, providers of women’s primary and preventive care will be a critical part of the delivery network in every community. Nearly 70% of women enter the health care system through a reproductive health provider.
The measure heads to Governor Hassan’s desk after passing the Senate on a voice vote back in March.
“We appreciate the attention that Governor Hassan and lawmakers in both parties have given to ensuring the successful implementation of this innovative program which improves access and reduces cost. We look forward to working collaboratively with DHHS to implement in time for the next biennium,” Frizzell concluded.