The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has approved a waiver allowing New Hampshire to provide premium assistance in 2016 to adults enrolling in the state’s Medicaid expansion alternative through the health insurance marketplace. According to the New Hampshire Hospital Association, hospitals saw 17% fewer emergency visits, 16% fewer admissions and 8% fewer outpatient visits by uninsured patients in the first six months of the program, approved by the legislature last year. “What this data shows us is that the New Hampshire Health Protection Plan is working by reducing the costs that businesses and those of us with insurance pay to care for those who have no insurance or way of paying for their care,” said NHHA President Steve Ahnen. “That ‘hidden tax,’ estimated at over $425 million last year, drives up the cost of health insurance premiums and the cost of health care for everyone.”