AARP New Hampshire volunteer advocate Guy Chapdelaine offered this testimony at the Senate Finance Committee hearing on May 8 in Manchester.
In 2018 in New Hampshire, there was a $20 million gap in home- and community-based services approved for older and disabled adults versus services provided. As a result, people are not receiving the assistance they need to remain in their homes and live healthy lives. This leads to the delivery of services in more expensive settings and greater burdens on families. This runs counter to the traditional New Hampshire way of delivering services.
Rates for home- and community-based providers have been inadequate for many years. Until the last biennium, most of these providers had not received a rate increase for ten years. Despite the rate increase given in the last biennium, New Hampshire still ranks last in the country in the amount of Medicaid dollars spent on home- and community-based services for older and disabled adults.
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services recognized the need and included a substantial increase in its 2020-2021 budget request and the Governor included it in his proposed budget. The increase was substantially reduced in the version of the budget passed by the New Hampshire House of Representatives. The New Hampshire Senate should restore the original level of funding to provide the services that people need.