New Hampshire officials are moving to quell concerns about the state’s “Medicaid to Schools” program, months after a federal agency issued new restrictions over how the program can be used.
In a Sept. 27 letter sent to school superintendents, Gov. Chris Sununu attempted to reassure them that state officials will help officials deal with changes to the program, known as “Medicaid to Schools.”
“Over the past several weeks, my office has heard from many school districts who are concerned about federally required changes to the Medicaid to Schools program,” Sununu wrote in the letter, adding that he “share(s) those concerns.”
The Medicaid to Schools program allows New Hampshire schools to be reimbursed for services through Medicaid – a federal health care program primarily targeted to low-income people. The program was expanded under a 2017 law that allowed schools to use it for all students who qualify for Medicaid, not just those with Individualized Education Plans.
But this spring, a new guidance issued by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which oversees Medicaid, restricted that reimbursement.
In guidance to New Hampshire state officials, CMS said that schools could only receive Medicaid reimbursement for services that fall under the state’s Medicaid plan. That meant that simple services administered by school nurses or guidance counselors could not qualify for the reimbursement, which up until then had paid back schools for 50% of the cost of services.
Failing to reform its practices could cause the whole state school Medicaid program to lose funding, the federal government warned New Hampshire.