Completed Budget Reducing the County Share of Medicaid Expense
In the 2021 legislative session we worked to lower County property taxes by changing the way spending on our elderly Medicaid population is handled without decreasing the overall spending. The increasing cost of Medicaid isn’t the direct result of decisions made by local voters in the way that school and municipal budgets are. These increases shouldn’t fall on our property taxes alone.
The Counties are funded with property taxes paid by the residents of a County. This appears on your tax bill as the County portion of the rate. While this is typically a small component of the rate, it is an area where the State can assume more of the liability for our aging population thus allowing the Counties to reduce overall spending. A reduction in County spending should result in a lowering of the County portion of your property tax bill.
The House Finance Committee’s Health and Human Services subcommittee worked to decrease the Medicaid cost to the Counties of the State of New Hampshire. The Medicaid cost includes residents in County nursing homes, qualified residents of other nursing homes in the County as well as those qualified for home and community-based care. This expense is one of the fastest growing costs in the County.
We reduced these costs in the current budget to limit the increase to 2% per year in the 2022-2023 budget cycle. Then we changed the law so in the future the growth in County spending in this area is limited to 2% per year as compared to the 3% to 4% growth of recent years.While the reduction isn’t large, it is a reduction that continues to grow in future years.