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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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Flexible CARES Act Funds Mostly Allocated, Partially Unspent as Deadline Looms

4 Nov 2020

tree with coins

Nearly all the federal funding granted to the State of New Hampshire in the Spring to combat the COVID-19 crisis has been allocated to pandemic-related programs as of the beginning of November. However, significant amounts of funding have not yet been expended. The State must spend these funds by December 30 or return them to the federal government. While some of these funds may be in the process of being spent now or will be used in the next two months based on existing plans, the significant amount of funds left unspent suggests a substantial risk that money will be returned to the federal government and not be deployed to directly support Granite Staters.