Senator Houde sponsored SB 390, relative to health insurance premium only cafeteria plans, which provides a mechanism for employers to establish and maintain a section 125 plan for its employees to use to purchase health insurance. Supported by the NH Business and Industry Association, such plans are not only a good way for an employer to extend healthcare benefits to employees if the employer does not currently offer health insurance, but also would enable employers to save money in payroll taxes since contributions by the employee are made on a pre-tax basis.
SB 505 established a Health Care Cost Containment Commission, charged with looking at the health care reimbursement system, including the impact of federal health care reform, options for implementing a common payment system and ways to encourage the use of incentives to improve quality and efficiency. Goals of the commission include finding ways to promote competition in health insurance, reduce or eliminate payment differentials, ensure access, fairly allocate the burden of charity care, promote public access to cost information and contain the increase in health care costs. The costs will be covered by a one-time assessment, with half paid by insurers and the other half paid by hospital and ambulatory surgical centers in proportion to their net operation revenue.
SB 42 enables Medicaid patients to get the benefit of hospice care at the end of life. New Hampshire was one of the last states to offer hospice care under Medicaid. Hospice care is generally more cost-effective that hospital care and provides coordinated and comprehensive services to dying patients and their families, including home care, bereavement counseling, pain management and symptom control. Some hospice organizations also have facilities where they provide medical care and services to dying patients outside of a hospital or nursing home.