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New and Expanded Challenges Facing Vulnerable Populations in New Hampshire

September 23, 2020 Health Policy
mother and sleeping baby at table

The COVID-19 crisis has had widespread impacts on life in New Hampshire, but the negative effects have been most severe on people who were already the most vulnerable. Vulnerable groups in New Hampshire include older adults, people with disabilities, individuals with chronic health conditions, individuals and families with lower incomes and who are economically disadvantaged, and people identifying as a race or ethnicity other than white and non-Hispanic. While there have been key policies at both the state and federal level in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the uncertainty surrounding the duration and severity of the impacts of this crisis may necessitate additional investments and policy actions.

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The Potential Impacts of Proposed SNAP Eligibility and Work Requirement Changes on Food Insecurity

October 9, 2019 Health Policy
vegetables

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program enhances the ability of individuals and families with low incomes to purchase healthy and nutritious food. This federal program benefits nearly 40 million people nationwide. Over two-thirds of participants are families with low incomes. The remaining beneficiaries include individuals with low incomes, those with temporary or permanent disabilities, and older adults on fixed-incomes. About one in eight children across New Hampshire benefit from SNAP, and 73,959 individuals were enrolled as of August 2019. Proposed changes to the eligibility criteria are projected to result in an estimated 3,500 New Hampshire households losing benefits, including up to 18 percent of all New Hampshire SNAP-enrolled households with children.

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County Medicaid Funding Obligations for Long-Term Care

August 1, 2019 Health Policy
stethoscope and pen with medical charts

Nursing home care and long-term supports and services in New Hampshire are paid by public or private funds, with Medicaid as the major public health coverage program paying for these services. Medicaid costs are paid in part by the federal government, but county governments pay a significant portion of the non-federal costs for this care, increasing upward pressure on county property tax rates. The state’s aging population will likely increase the need for long-term care services and may require modifying the current system, particularly in counties with lower taxable property values or a greater proportion of low-income residents.

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New Data Show Food Insecurity Levels Declining Prior to the COVID-19 Crisis

10 Sep 2020

tree with coins

According to data released on September 9 by the United States Department of Agriculture, food insecurity levels in New Hampshire continued to decline during 2019, prior to the onset of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The report outlines the trends of reduced food insecurity in the nation and in New Hampshire, declining from the higher levels resulting from the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009. The overall improvements to the state economy through 2019, along with the effectiveness of key nutritional aid programs, did contribute to lower levels of food insecurity, although the benefits of the economic recovery did not reach all Granite Staters in an equal or timely manner. Although food insecurity levels declined through the years preceding 2020, the current crisis facing Granite Staters is not reflected in these 2019 data. The recent economic pressures on many individuals and families with lower incomes in New Hampshire have been severe, and current levels of food insecurity are very likely to be substantially higher.