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AARP NH Legislative Update: Issues Focusing on Granite Staters 50-plus

Posted on 04/08/24

New Hampshire State House In Concord

AARP New Hampshire is a strong advocate for Granite Staters 50-plus and their families. We work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to support legislation and issues that make our state a great place to live for people of all ages.

Our priorities for the 2024 legislative session include advocating for policies that help prevent fraud, support family caregivers, address the rising costs of prescription drugs, and help older adults live safely and independently in their communities.

Fraud Prevention
AARP NH makes it a priority to help protect consumers against the dangers of fraud and encourages lawmakers to conduct robust oversight related to scams and fraud and should consider enacting new protections on gift cards, cryptocurrencies, and electronic payments to prevent fraud.

To this end, AARP NH has advocated in favor of Senate Bill 515 which is a fraud prevention bill related to extended warranty contracts. This is an area where consumers are at risk and we are encouraged by the protections for consumers this bill includes. The bill would outlaw marketing flyers that don’t have the name of the company selling the extended warranty, ensure that all warranty contracts be registered with the state, and it would give the state department more authority to take action against companies selling phony warranties.

Next steps: The NH Senate passed this bill unanimously. SB515 will now crossover to the House Commerce Committee for a public hearing. After the committee is done voting on the bill, it will move to the House floor to be voted on by the entire House.

New Hampshire’s 168,000 unpaid family caregivers, who provide an estimated 157 million hours of care yearly, assist their older parents, spouses, siblings, grandparents, and other loved ones every day so they can live independently in their homes – where they want to be. We are prioritizing work to ensure long-term services and supports (LTSS) programs cover services that support and supplement caregiving by relatives, friends, and neighbors and make it more feasible for people to receive care at home.

In the 2023 legislative session, after strong advocacy from AARP NH and other organizations, New Hampshire created a framework for a comprehensive system of care for healthy aging. This framework contains provisions to make it easier for people to receive care at home rather than in institutional settings and also improves access to the information and resources that family caregivers need. As a part of that system – this year AARP has advocated in support of the NH Department of Health and Human Services’ proposal to implement Medicaid presumptive eligibility (PE) for individuals 18 and over in need of home- and community-based services (HCBS).

Next steps: NH DHHS will be reviewing comments and working with stakeholders on implementation. AARP will continue to stay engaged in that process with DHHS and assist however needed.

AARP NH urges legislators to ensure prescription drug prices are reasonable, justified, and support improved consumer access and affordability. One way to accomplish this is through our support of NH’s Prescription Drug Affordability Board (PDAB). NH’s PDAB is broadly tasked with ensuring medications are affordable and accessible to patients, employers, and taxpayers and is charged with recommending strategies to accomplish that goal, so no one has to make trade-offs between affording their medicines or putting food on the table.

In addition to our support of NH’s PDAB, we have advocated in support of Senate Bill 560 which would establish a committee to study the impact of pharmacy benefit manager operations on cost, administration, and distribution of prescription drugs. We support this bill because creating a committee to study the role pharmacy benefit managers in our prescription drug system will provide additional transparency over the process in which consumers purchase prescription drugs. We hope this committee can serve as another resource for NH in helping to lower prescription drug prices for Granite State patients.

Next steps: The NH Senate passed this bill unanimously. SB560 will now head over to the House Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs Committee for a public hearing. After the committee is done voting on the bill, it will move to the House floor to be voted on by the entire House.

AARP NH calls on lawmakers to help older adults live safely and independently in their communities. Providing more transportation options, affordable housing, and safer streets can all make communities more livable for people of all ages.

To help achieve this goal, AARP NH has testified in support of House Bill 1291 which is a housing bill relating to accessory dwelling units (ADUs) that would effectively make it easier for Granite Staters to have accessory dwelling units on their property.

AARP NH supports this bill because ADUs:

  • Help older adults age in place
  • Can provide an additional stream of income
  • Provide an opportunity for caregivers to live with their loved ones

This bill will be an important step forward in New Hampshire; creating more affordable housing options for older adults.
Next steps: HB1291 passed the NH House by a margin of 220-143. It will now continue to the Senate Commerce Committee for a public hearing. After the committee is done voting on the bill, it will move to the Senate floor to be voted on by the full Senate.

If you are interested in getting involved in AARP NH’s advocacy work or have any questions, please contact Mike Padmore, AARP NH’s Associate State Director of Advocacy and Outreach at mpadmore@aarp.org.

In addition to our advocacy work, we are committed to providing valuable information and resources through a wide variety of free educational, interactive, and fun events. Explore our in-person and virtual offerings at www.aarp.org/nh and stay informed by signing up for our emails. Are you interested in bringing our free events to your community?

You Can Make a Difference. Join AARP’s Mobile Activist Team!
AARP New Hampshire advocates on issues such as Social Security, caregiving, financial security, independent living, health care, utilities and internet access, age discrimination, prescription drug prices and more. We can’t do it without people just like you who share an aspiration to make a difference and improve the quality of life for residents of all ages. Join a team where you can make an impact in your community. Discover how you can become a volunteer at www.aarp.org/iwanttovolunteer. In addition, text JOIN to 22777 to subscribe to recurring text messages from AARP to stay up-to-date with advocacy information and alerts.

This story is provided by AARP New Hampshire. Visit the AARP New Hampshire page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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